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SUNSET CORNERS: extraordinary "almost" sherries from Toro Albala

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  • michael bittel
    We first discovered these gorgeous wines about a year and a half ago. In fact, they were poured to me, along with a great cigar, at the end of a wonderful
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1 5:09 AM
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      We first discovered these gorgeous wines about a year and a half ago. In fact, they were poured to me, along with a great cigar, at the end of a wonderful dinner party celebrating my 50th birthday. (Uh oh- I guess that makes me almost 52.... geez..) The intensity of the 1971 blew me away- sweet, without being cloying. Since then, this wine has become a staple both at Sunset Corners and my home! Just recently we received a magnificent dry version, dating from a solera founded in 1922 and an even older, more intense PX. Check them out!

      THE WINERY:
      Bodegas Toro Albalá, Aguilar de la Frontera (Cordoba)
      Denominación de Origen Montilla-Moriles

      Founded in 1844, resituated in 1922, in the old electric plant of Aguilar de la Frontera. These superstar wines feature miniscule quantities of the finest sun-dried Pedro Ximénez with stocks in barrel going back to the 1930's. The wines are bottled on order, left untouched in their original maturation casks. A Spanish national treasure, maintained with fanatical integrity by current owner and descendent of the original founders, Sr. Antonio Sánchez.


      Toro Albala "Viejísimo" Solera 1922
      $39.99 a bottle

      If you love dry sherries, you are going to go "crazy" other this one! Pedro Ximénez grown on Montilla's chalky albariza soil attains 16% alcohol naturally and is never fortified. This is the classic dry Montilla style, which later became known in Jerez as 'A-montilla-do.' Montilla's dry climate when compared with Jerez provokes a net evaporation of water during the long years in barrel, resulting in a natural strength of 21%. Because it isn't fortified it has a much softer delicate mouth feel than an amontillado sherry has. In fact, this extraordinary wine has an almost creamy texture! This wine, aged in barrel for between ten to fifteen years, and dating from a solera founded in 1922, has unbelievable complexity with all the nutty, vanilla and spice that you would expect from a grand sherry. Really delicious!

      Toro Albala Don PX Pedro Ximénez Gran Reserva 1971
      $49.99 a bottle
      $24.99 a half bottle

      Select lots of Pedro Ximénez are destined for oak barrels, sealed and left for decades in single-vintage state. After a minimum of 25 years, vintages are selected for release only when they have attained classic character. Opaque, black mahogany color with a caramel-like bite and rich sweetness.

      "Almost black, yet this is light and lively, with molasses, bitter chocolate, raisin and mineral aromas and flavors. Well-balanced and integrated, it's fresh and long on the finish." 93 points
      ---Thomas Matthews, Wine Spectator, Nov 15, 2005

      Toro Albala Don Pedro Ximenez 1961
      $215.00 a bottle

      Produced just like the above 1971, except this wine was bottled in September of 1997, thus spending 36 years in cask. The wine has superhuman depth and impenetrable black color, while still incredibly young and vigorous, yet elegant and inviting.



      THIS SATURDAY'S TASTING
      August 5th
      12pm - 4pm
      THE WINES OF RAVENSWOOD
      Michael Bittel
      Sunset Corners Fine Wines & Spirits
      8701 Sunset Drive Miami, FL 33173
      ph: 305 271 8492 fax: 305 271 5390
      mbittel@...

      www.apprecianados.com
      "Life's little luxuries!"
      by the month wines, beers. cigars & chocolates
      Sunset Corners promotional discount code: punch "1501"
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