Toro Albala Don Px 1994 Half Bottle 375Ml
1 or more bottles$62.99
James Suckling93 points
Luis Gutierrez93 points
Toro Albalá put aside select lots of their best vintage wines for later release under this label. These rich and complex Pedro Ximénez wines are destined for very long ageing in oak barrels. After filling and sealing, these barrels are left for decades in their single-vintage state. It's during this slow maturation that the wines undertake their delicious, savoury transformation (through controlled exposure to oxygen) which brings the nutty, iodine, rancio characters that infinitely complexes the sweet, fruit cakey wine and also somehow gives a greater impression of freshness.
Naturally, as the wines age, they concentrate in flavour and texture, the colour darkens and the mouthfeel thickens and yet at the same time something more vibrant emerges as the levels of acidity also rise. With close to 30 years in barrel, the 1994 is absolutely singing. The perfume is lifted and reminds not only of raisins and liquorice but also of geranium and fresh grape seeds. The palate is thick and sweet yet so complex, with crushed raisin, ground coffee, bitter chocolate and roasted almond rancio notes. It perfumes the mouth from minutes after swallowing. 387 grams of residual. Keeps forever once opened. Stunning value.
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- Baked Plum
Critic Scores & reviews
"So much toffee and burnt sugar. Oyster and iodine. Like bitter liqueur. It's full-bodied and sweet, but not overpowering. Wonderful, sweet finish. Drink now."
"(1990 vintage) The 1990 Don PX Gran Reserva has unusually high sugar, close to 400 grams (when this range is usually less than 360). Compared with the rest of the wines, this feels like a very good value. These wines mature in old 550-liter American oak casks for decades, and the wines have great concentration. It felt unusually perfumed, a little spirity and with notes that made me think of Moscatel--notes of orange peel and flowers, and of course the raisin and dry dates and figs from these wines made with raisins. It's sweet and dense like motor oil and leaves a combination of raisins and chocolate in the spicy and faintly warm finish. This was bottled in early 2019."
Love this wine? Here's a list of other vintages we have in stock if you'd like to try them as well.
All current auctions for this wine & any different vintages.
Spain is definitely one of the new-world players to keep an eye on. It is the land of old-vines, american oak and sherry! The main varieties grown in Spain are Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache) in the reds, and Airén, Viura/Macabeo, Verdejo and Albarino for the whites. Lesser grown whites include Palomino. Other reds successfully cultivated include Carignan, Mourvedre and Mencia.
Although Spain can be quite a warm country, the vast majority of vineyards are 600m or so above sea level, so the cooler nights allow the grapes to develop full colour and acidity.
Rioja is undoubtedly the long-standing king of all the Spanish wine regions, where Tempranillo and Garnacha are commonly blended. However more recently many more regions have come to the forefront of interest. Ribera Del Duero is producing excellent Tempranillo blends rivalling those coming out of Rioja. Jerez in the South is the home of the fortified wine Sherry.
Spanish wine laws created the Denominación de Origen (DO) system in 1932 and were later revised in 1970. These include:
- Denominación de Origen Calificada (formerly called DOCa) Priorat calls itself DOQ for Denominació d'Origen Qualificada in Catalan and has a track record of consistent quality and is meant to be a step above DO level.
- Denominación de Origen (DO)- Used for mainstream-quality wine regions. Nearly two thirds of the total vineyard area in Spain is within the boundaries of a DO region.
- Vino de Calidad Producido en Región Determinada (VCPRD) - This is somewhat of a stepping stone to DO status.
- Vinos de la Tierra (VdIT) - A level similar to France's vin de pays system, where the regions are much larger.
- Vino de Mesa (VdM)- The equivalent of 'table wines' from France or Italy
The southernmost wine region in Spain, Andalusia is most famously home to Sherry, the world-renowned fortified wine. Extremadura and Castilla-La Mancha border Andalusia to the north, with Murcia to its east, Portugal to its west, and the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea to its south. Andalusia benefits from a Mediterranean climate, mild average temperatures, and unique geology, making the region ideal for grapegrowing and winemaking. Here, five Denominaciónes de Origen (DOs) cover more than 70% of the region’s vineyards. Sherry is produced in an area of Andalusia’s Cádiz province comprising three cities known as the ‘Sherry Triangle’: Jerez de la Frontera (from which Sherry takes its name), Sanlúcar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa María. Similar to how true Champagne can come only from the Champagne region of France, authentic Sherry can come only from Andalusia.
The viticulture of the wine region of Montilla-Moriles was first started by the Romans approximately 45 BC, making it one of the oldest wine making history in Andalusia. Unjustly overshadowed by its competitors to the south and west, Montilla-Moriles has come a long way in building and defining its individual flavours of the Mediterranean region. Situated approximately 45 km south of Cordoba, Andalusia, Montilla-Moriles is home to over 11,000 hectares of vineyards and is surrounded by the river Genil to the east and the Guadajoz river to the west. The landscape of the region is dry and flat with fields of olives, wheat and vineyards. The climate of this area is typically very hot during the summers with 600mm of annual rainfall, and the soil base is made up of Albariza soil which is valuable because of its high amounts of albedo (the amount of sunlight it reflects back up to the vines). This is extremely useful due to its moisture retention which is essential because the region is hotter than almost anywhere else in the Iberian peninsula.
The wines from this region were granted DO (Denominacion d’Origen) status in 1932. There are typically seven types of wines produced in Montilla-Moriles which are: Vino Joven, Fino, Amontillado, Oloroso, Palo Cortado, Moscatel and the famous Pedro Ximenez.
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About the brand Toro Albala
Bodegas Toro Albalá is arguably the best producer of Pedro Ximenez in the world today. Founded in 1844, though the modern incarnation is better dated at 1922, it's a remarkable operation. Their wine library located in their tasting room comprises more than 100,000 reference books!
They have a barrel room that's the envy of many, with consecutive vintages dating back to the time of WW2 and even earlier that, patiently ageing in predominantly old American oak barrels until their release, years decade or even half a century later. The winery has in recent years by having made the only dessert wine to have achieved a 100/100 score by Parker in Wine Advocate for their 1946 Don PX Convento and has seen a spark in interest for their very limited produce.
During the slow barrel maturation which allows controlled exposure to oxygen, the wines undertake a delicious, savoury, rancio transformation which brings on a nutty, iodine character that takes complexity to the next level, whilst maintaining a certain freshness. With more and more time in barrel the wines concentrate in both flavour and texture and the colour develops in to a viscous, dark almost motor-oil thickness - a wonderful mouthfeel indeed.