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Montilla-Moriles, Don PX Excelso, Toro Albala - 1952

  • Provenance: Andalousia
  • Appellation: Montilla-Moriles
  • Domain: Toro Albala
  • Grape variety(ies): Pedro Ximenez
  • On-call time: 100 years
  • Alcohol degree: 19%
Even if I think they tried to simplify the range, they also created a new varietal of the very old sweet PX, very old 1952 Don PX Excelso that comes in a square-ish bottle reminiscent of something like Chanel Number 5 or similar, a decadent and excessive old PX with more rustic aromas reminiscent of carob beans (algarroba) and with an earthy touch. It's a characterful wine with incredible depth and concentration, a bit spirity at 17% alcohol and with 390 grams of sugar and a soft texture with moderat acidity. In the context of the 1964 and Centenary wines I tasted next to it, it suffered a bit in the comparison. These wines are produced with raisins, fortified and matured in ancient American oak barrels for a long, long time, and each barrel develops slightly differently. Wine Advocate, Luis Gutiérrez : 96/100
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360,00 CHF

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Excelso is an old project of Toro Albala's ancestors. The idea of previous generations was not only to make their own wines, but also to help other estates to produce. In those days, money was scarce and part of the harvest was used to pay the winery for 'lending' its labour. In this way, Toro Albala preserves treasures from another vineyard that is not her own, but the wine has been vinified by her. To date, she has never sold a vintage. So this is a first!


The grapes are harvested at the end of August. The best bunches are selected and transported in crates to a sandy area where they are laid out in the sun to dry for 10 days (45-50°C during the day and 25-35°C at night). The bunches are then crushed with very powerful presses, and the must is put into vats. The alcoholic fermentation takes place until about 9° of alcohol. The wine is then matured to about 17° and then aged for a long time in large American oak barrels.

Suggestions for accompaniment

To be drunk on its own, as a dessert wine or with a large Havana.

The Andalusian vineyards are divided into several appellations, including Montilla-Moriles, which certainly has the oldest vineyards in the region, as it was already prosperous in Roman times. The climate here is continental, very warm, with short winters and low rainfall. The harvest begins in mid-August and is the earliest in Spain. The king grape variety is Pedro Ximenez (PX), which is vinified into dry or sweet wines in oxidative modes, with long to very long maturation. Located in the village of Aguilar de la Frontera, 50 kilometres from Cordoba, the estate was founded in 1844 by Antonio Sánchez Prieto. In 1922, José Toro Albala, who had a passion for both wine and archaeology, restored and moved the winery to the old power station in Aguilar, with its large underground warehouses ideal for storing wine. For almost a century, the winery produced wine to be aged in its cellars, but without bottling it. Things changed at the end of the 20th century with the birth of the first vintages. For some years now, Antonio Sanchez Romero has been at the helm of the winery, creating unique jewels without losing sight of the essence of his estate, the Pedro Ximenez: an extraordinary grape variety. A true romantic character, he is also a great oenologist, with encyclopaedic knowledge and a lively and always inventive personality. His wines reflect this.

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