Bodegas Toro Albala – “Incredibly Elegant” – 1949 Don PX Reserva Especial

"You should drink it whenever you have the occasion." Advocate

“You should drink it whenever you have the occasion.”

Niche wines are thrilling, I love hunting them down – even in tiny parcels. Especially these heady concoctions from Andalusia in Spain, where time seems to stand still.

Imagine the amazement; pulling a cork from the 1940s. Think of the history this bottle has witnessed.

This corner of Spain is literally the birthplace of not only Spanish wine, but likewise of Western Europe. This place – Andalusia, which includes Jerez, Montilla, and Gibraltar – once formed the center of the Western World.

The family behind Bodegas Toro Albala (producers of the Don PX) traces their local roots to the 19th century, forming their modern business in an abandoned electricity plant just north of Montilla in the ’20s. Theirs is Pedro Ximenez country – that grape destined for intense, sultry, broodingly deep, dark sweet wines that are becoming increasingly popular Stateside. The longer these treasures of time, place and history are allowed to age, the darker and more ethereal they become.

And their seemingly newly bottled 1949 Don PX Reserva Especial – at the ripe young age of 65 years – is a broodingly unctuous beauty; quite properly described by Luis Gutierrez as something “You should drink whenever you have the occasion.”

1949 Bodegas Toro Albala Don PX Reserva Especial

The 1949 Don PX Reserva Especial differs from the other old wines from the winery as it is less dark, it even has a (very dark) translucent tone compared with the others, maybe because it has 2% more alcohol. It feels incredibly elegant and balanced, fresher in comparison than the beasts from 1962 and 1946, medicinal, full of spicy notes of cinnamon, cloves, a touch of ash, and the smell of an antique shop. The palate is fluid, sweet and fresh. Putting a drinking window to these wines feels a bit silly. You should drink it whenever you have the occasion.

97 points – Wine Advocate (LG)

This is a slow, sweet, intentional drink; do not be in a rush, do not take it all in at once… These are the types of vinous experiences which come along very, very rarely…