Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, Spain. Sherry is produced in a variety of styles made primarily from the Palomino grape, ranging from light versions similar to white table wines, such as Manzanilla and Fino, to darker and heavier versions that have been allowed to oxidize as they age in barrel, such as Amontillado and Oloroso. Sweet dessert wines are also made from Pedro Ximenez or Moscatel grapes, and are sometimes blended with Palomino-based Sherries. Madeira is a fortified Portuguese wine made in the Madeira Islands.
Madeira is produced in a variety of styles ranging from dry wines which can be consumed on their own as an aperitif, to sweet wines more usually consumed with dessert. The islands of Madeira have a long winemaking history, dating back to the Age of Exploration when Madeira was a standard port of call for ships heading to the New World or East Indies. To prevent the wine from spoiling, neutral grape spirits were added. On the long sea voyages, the wines would be exposed to excessive heat and movement which transformed the flavor of the wine. This was discovered by the wine producers of Madeira when an unsold shipment of wine returned to the islands after a round trip. Today, Madeira is noted for its unique winemaking process which involves heating the wine up to temperatures as high as 60 °C (140 °F) for an extended period of time and deliberately exposing the wine to some levels of oxidation. Because of this unique process, Madeira is a very robust wine that can be quite long lived even after being opened.
- Item #: i_377006Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 98The story of Toro Albala begins back in 1922 in the sun baked Andalusian country side some thirty miles south of Cordoba. It was then when a small farmer named Jose Maria Toro Albala had the audacious idea of saving his best barrels of sweet Pedro Ximenez wine for generations yet unborn. In the 1960's the torch was passed to Jose's nephew, Antonio Sanchez, who decided to start releasing his family's vinous time capsules to the world. All of Toro Albala's wines start with ripe white Pedro Ximenez grapes, but for these dessert wines the grapes are laid out and sun-dried on mats to further concentrate the sugars. The resulting wine has a brownish cast which gets darker and darker as the years pass by. The awesome single vintage examples below are virtually black, viscous as motor oil and packed to the gills with flavor. We were able to snag a few cases of the 1946 Don PX Convento Seleccion a few years ago (which was an instant sell out) but we were always looking to obtain a broader selection from the Toro Albala treasury to better understand these immortal wines. After years of patient hunting our treasure ship has finally come in. Naturally supplies are very limited, so we urge you to get these "bucket list" nectars while the getting is good. Note that all these wines are bottled directly from the oak cask and have not been subjected to any finning additives or filtration techniques. The presence of fine lees in these natural wines doesn't devalue the product nor compromise their enjoyment. Also, there is virtually no time limit for wine storage as theses ambrosias only improve with age even after they have been uncorked.
WINE ADVOCATE 98 POINTS - "If someone told you they kept a wine for 84 years in barrel before bottling, you'd think they are nuts, right? Well, that's what the folks at Toro Albalá in Aguilar de la Frontera - in the province of Cordoba, part of the Montilla Moriles appellation - did with their 1931 Don PX Convento Selección. This is part of what they call 'vinos olvidados,' which means 'forgotten wines.' The border is amber, with green tints that denote very old age. Such old age provides an array of unusual aromas and flavors, including iodine and salt that compensate the sweetness (403 grams) and even the alcohol (18%). It's terribly balsamic, with notes of dry herbs and spices, cigar ash, carob beans (algarrobas), incense and noble woods. The palate is very, very sweet and concentrated, unctuous, dense, with a chewy texture. This goes beyond a glass of wine, a drop of it is like having a piece of cake. I don't think this reaches the complexity and depth of the 1946, which remains the benchmark for these old sweet PX, but it's truly terrific! 9,650 bottles were filled in June 2015."