Alegre y Valgañón

Rioja (Sajazarra, Cardenas)

'Bahierra' Field Blend 2016

Size

Located in the tiny pueblo of Villaseca, on the municipal footprint of Fonzaleche, Baherra is just north of Sajazarra, and features cold stony limey soil. It's a tiny 0.45 hectare field blend vineyard, planted 100 years ago to roughly 70% Tempranillo, 20% Garnacha and 10% Viura and other unknown cultivars. Total yield is 1-1.5 tonnes (harvested in October). Mostly hand de-stemmed, about 15% of whole bunches are retained, then fermented by native yeasts and macerated for 2 weeks in two open 500 litre French oak barrels, then gently vertical pressed, racked and aged 14 months in the same barrels. It's aged a little over a year in French oak foudre, then gravity-bottled, unfiltered and unfined, with little sulphur. Eva and Oscar made this wine separately for 3 years (then blended it away) as 'practise' before bottling a definitive first release from 2016. 1,300 bottles.

Simply, the taste of a place. Tree and vine, wood and leaves, sky and earth. Brilliant, bright, savoury, lactic-electric fruit, centred and radiating. Floral, detailed, deep, fresh. Wonderful.