Alegre y Valgañon
90% Viura, 10% Garnacha Blanca
The vineyards are from the village of Galbarruri in Rioja Alta.
old vines bush pruned. All work is done by hand without herbacides or fertilizers.
Slow press of the grapes with stems
Aged 1 year in used 500 L French oak barrels.
2,300 bottles approximately
The white 2016 Blanco was aged in oak for one year, in an attempt to find some reminiscences of the white Riojas from yesteryear, with more importance placed on texture than on aroma. Contrary to what I hear from many, they are happier with the reds than the whites from 2016 (they prefer the 2015 whites), which was a high-yielding vintage but with balance, ripeness and freshness. It's a blend of organically farmed Viura from Labastida, Galbarruri and Sajazarra with some 10% young Garnacha Blanca from Sajazarra. The full clusters were pressed, and after racking, the juice fermented with indigenous yeasts in barrel, where it matured with some lees stirring. Part of the volume was kept in an egg-shaped plastic vat. It's clean and pure, with some fennel and licorice aromas, some waxy apples and a white pepper twist. The palate is serious and austere, very tasty, polished and velvety. Very pleasant. 4,000 bottles were filled in September 2017.
A more exuberant, fleshy and gently savory style with subtle complexity and elegant fruit. Apple, melon and green-papaya flavors with a chalky, tangy-lemon finish. Blend of viura and garnacha blanca. Drink now. - James Suckling
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