The Toro Albalá winery began in the heart of Southern Cordoba in 1922, which is famous for its wine region Montilla-Moriles. Our history begins with the story of a small wine grower José María Toro Albalá who had the great idea of keeping aged wines to create wine treasures destined for the most demanding palates and whose family values are still founded on this philosophy today. Although considered a risk in view of the economic situation at that time, his idea was a great success and Toro Albalá wines are now to be found on the best tables in the world.
“Fino” wines were the most popular wines in the 1930s amongst mainly rural Andalusian workers who frequented the local bars. The “bodega”, or winery, was situated in a former regional power plant, which gave rise to the Andalusian joke that the wine was electric or possessed electricity, hence the famous name “Eléctrico” – still used today – for its “fino” wine.
A generational change in the 1960s at the hands of enologist Antonio Sánchez was to give the brand an identity of its own. From then on, its focus was the recovery of the art of the tradition of ageing wines and adherence to the old ways of the “crianza” system. The founder’s nephew, the now well-known Antonio Sanchez, was to bring fresh ideas from his training, which he undertook primarily in France, as well as enthusiasm for a project of which he had been part since the age of six.
The legacy of this winemaker, never seen without his sunglasses, is not only the creation of wine masterpieces with a unique style all their own, but also an understanding of viniculture, surrounded by works of literature, archaelogy and paintings, as well as the constant aroma of amontillado casks. With consistent quality and a classic taste, his specialities are the very pungent amontillados and unsurpassed Don Pedro Ximénez wines.
The 1946 Don PX Convento Seleccion produced with Pedro Ximenez grapes dehydrated under the sun at the time of the Second World War, was only bottled in September 2011. This is an extreme wine, my first descriptor was ultra-mega-super concentrated. It is unbelievably powerful, both in the nose and the palate, full of umami, with sweet cinnamon, Christmas cake, camphor, petrol, lemongrass, Belgian chocolate and butter. Incredibly complex and rich, sweet, balanced and smooth in the palate, it is both very sweet and somehow salty, and with time it develops a black olive note. It combines the texture of the 1962 and the elegance of the 1949. It is as decadent as it gets. 825 bottles were produced. This wine will survive all of us. These wines are kept for generations and offered in very small quantities, but it’s amazing that you can still buy and drink something so old, and I’m even tempted to say that it might represent good value for what it is. A real tour de force sweet wine. Drink it if you ever have the privilege to do so from 2013-2060.
Drinking Window: 2013 - 2060
Reviewer Name: Luis Gutiérrez
Review Date: 29th August 2013