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Toro Albala

When Sherry began to suffer an image problem, Montilla-Moriles was dou...

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When Sherry began to suffer an image problem, Montilla-Moriles was doubly hit: if sherry was the tipple of vicars and maiden aunts only, then Montilla was the tipple of vicars and maiden aunts on an economy drive. This was because Montilla had come to be regarded merely as a cheap alternative to its more famous neighbour. It is certainly true that a lot of Montilla grapes used to bulk up sherry blends, and that after this practice was stopped, many Montillas bearing similar labels to Sherrys (Fino, Amontillado etc) were sold cheap in export markets. But this obscured fundamental differences between the two regions, and very valid reasons to take Montilla seriously as a source of potentially high quality, original and unique wines. First difference is the climate, which is distinctly warmer in Montilla than down on the coast (it is in fact the hottest region in all Spain). This explains why the producers of Montilla could produce the superripe grapes the Sherry houses wanted, at such competitive prices. The second difference follows from this: with such high sugar levels, there is no need to fortify the wines at all - they naturally attain alcohol levels of over 15%.

Fortunately, a few enlightened estates in Montilla-Moriles have played to these strengths, and are concentrating on producing exciting, unfortified wines of great richness and complexity, usually from the hedonistic Pedro Ximinez grape, confident that fine wine connoisseurs will discover them sooner or later. One of the most remarkable of these is Bodegas Toro Albala.

The estate had a rather sedate beginning, back in 1844, on the slopes of Aguilar Castle. But in 1992 José Maria Toro Albala arrived, and the fun began. One of the wine world's less conventional characters, he immediately made his mark by moving the whole bodega into a disused electrical plant. Other developments include wooden labels and his own patented invention "Trapped Air" - a novel approach to the problem of conserving wine in perfect condition.

Above all, Senor Toro Albala is a fanatic about wine in general, and top-quality sweet wine in particular. He says "Wine is as old as the bible, and is best savoured knowing it's culture", and visitors have a chance to tour his museum of vineyard tools, machinery, reference material and objects from history. Some of his wines merit a place in the museum, including the Gran Reserva which has aged 25 years in barrel, and the occassional release of outstanding pre-war vintages.

Despite all this history, the bodega has invested considerably in all the latest technology equipment, thus ensuring maximum control at every stage of the winemaking and ageing process. Here is a unique combination of excellent raw materials, modern technology, and respect for the traditional Montilla methods and styles, and above all a serious commitment to making the best dessert wine possible.

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  • Toro Albala Marques De Poley Oloroso (500ML) Front Label
    Toro Albala Marques De Poley Oloroso (500ML)
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    • Toro Albala Marques De Poley Cream Pedro Ximenez (500ML) Front Label
      Toro Albala Marques De Poley Cream Pedro Ximenez (500ML)
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        • Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2014 Front Label
          Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2014
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            • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1988 Front Label
              Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1988
              Sherry from Spain
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              • Toro Albala Electrico Fino en Rama (375ML half-bottle) Front Label
                Toro Albala Electrico Fino en Rama (375ML half-bottle)
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                • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1987 Front Label
                  Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1987
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                  • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1990  Front Label
                    Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1990
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                    • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1988 Front Label
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                      • Toro Albala Don PX Convento 1955 Front Label
                        Toro Albala Don PX Convento 1955
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                        • Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2012 Front Label
                          Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2012
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                            • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1987 Front Label
                              Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1987
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                              • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1986 Front Label
                                Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1986
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                                • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1983 Front Label
                                  Toro Albala Gran Reserva Pedro Ximenez 1983
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                                  • Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2015 Front Label
                                    Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2015
                                    Sherry from Spain
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                                    • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1990  Front Label
                                      Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1990
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                                      • Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1994  Front Label
                                        Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1994
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                                        • Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2016  Front Label
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                                            • Toro Albala Marques De Poley Amontillado Viejisimo (500ML) Front Label
                                              Toro Albala Marques De Poley Amontillado Viejisimo (500ML)
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                                              • Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) Front Label
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                                                  • Toro Albala Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 2017  Front Label
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                                                      • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1986 Front Label
                                                        Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1986
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                                                        • Toro Albala Don PX Reserva Especial 1949 Front Label
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                                                          • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX 1972 Front Label
                                                            Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX 1972
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                                                              • Toro Albala Gran Reserva Don PX (375ML half-bottle) 1982 Front Label
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                                                                  • Toro Albala Don PX Gran Reserva 1994  Front Label
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