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…


2009 Pintia |Vega Sicilia’s “Very Cool” Toro | 94 Points Wine Advocate

Vega Sicilia

A lot has been made of the famous Vega Sicilia. The name itself is undoubtedly the most recognized in Spanish wine loving circles. It holds its own – in more ways than one – alongside the most revered in wine. Its history is legendary.

I wonder, though how many know that Vega Sicilia was once sold as Rioja. Or that the original owner – Senor Lecanda – returning from Bordeaux with 18,000 vines to be planted at what is now called Vega Sicilia, would have the harvest distilled for Brandy.

My, how the world has changed.

Turn the page and meet the real forward thinkers, the Alvarez family, in charge since 1982. What they have done here is nothing short of miraculous. Expanding while perfecting, they have added estates across Spain, including Pintia in Toro, acqPintia 2009uired in 1997.

I asked about the name.

“Short, sweet, cool and easy to remember…” says Pablo.

They’ve tamed the once wild and belligerent Tempranillo of Toro, too. In Pablo’s cellars, deftly controlled by wine-maker Xavier Ausas, this is Toro with no equal. Very cool, very hip, totally unmatched.

The Vega Sicilia of Toro? You nailed it!

Track it down here