90 Cases. 100-year-old Vines. Rioja's Past in a Bottle.

Rioja's old Gran Reservas—blended from a multitude of vineyards—are among the world's greatest, and most irreplaceable, wine treasures. But the region's future may lie in a completely different direction: small old-vine cuvées aged for a shorter time in neutral barrels.

The region's wealth of old vineyards is unsurpassed in Europe. Unfortunately many are long abandoned. And, so far, the big bodegas have shown little interest in restoring them. They've left the job to smaller producers like Telmo Rodrigues, Alvaro Palacios, Artuke, Peciña and Alegre Valgañon.
From these producers, some spectacular wines are already emerging, demonstrating the fireworks that can come from sensitively handled old-vine Tempranillo and Garnacha. And among the most compelling of these wines—and certainly the most incredible values—are coming from Oscar Alegre and Eva Valgañon.

Two years ago, you may have seen our offer of their old-vine 2016 Bahierra. And if you were lucky enough to buy some and try it, you know how special that wine is.

We're now excited to offer another Alegre Valgañon old-vine treasure, also from 2016. Their old-vine Garnacha was made from a single .7 hectare vineyard of Garnacha in the village of Cardenas. The vineyard, named Valdechuecas, is believed to have been planted at the beginning of the 20th century.

 In Search of Purity
Oscar and Eva’s winemaking is perfectly suited to Valdechuecas' ancient vines. After a careful hand harvest, they fermented it at low temperatures in an open top wood vat with about 25% whole clusters. Skin contact lasted 18 days with punching down.  After a soft press, they aged the wine thirteen months in two 500-liter barrels.
The wine itself boasts remarkable old-vine concentration for its price level. While impressive to drink now, it will be even better in 5 years, as the tannins melt and the palate lengthens.

Given the tiny production of only 90 cases, it stands to reason that we don't have much of this wine to go around. So you'll want to hurry.

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Wine barrels in a cellar

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Wine barrels in a cellar

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