December 6, 2022

Oh Sherry

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A few weeks ago while I was sipping on a glass of 1929 Toro Albalá Don PX Convento Selección - a wine I absolutely love and finally had a chance to introduce to mom - the sommeliers at Caprice told me about a special dinner featuring wines from the Toro Albalá winery. Unfortunately that dinner is scheduled for tomorrow, at a time when I have a previous, unavoidable work engagement. I was pretty disappointed upon hearing the news...

The following evening, I was serendipitously served another glass of the 1929 Don PX at the end of dinner at MONO. I was lamenting about not being able to join the dinner at Caprice when Mauricio informed me that they would be hosting a lunch today. I immediately put my hand up, and I'm grateful that my name was added to the list.

Lunch today was an intimate affair, and we were sequestered away in the private room at the bank. We had a representative each from the winery as well as the local agent. The list of wines was, alas, shorter than what would be served at the Caprice dinner, but I was glad to be in attendance nonetheless.

Inflatida sea urchin - the shell of the inflatida today was made with purple corn. Topped with some tongues of sea urchin and nasturtium.

Stuffed with Hokkaido sea urchin and botan shrimp (牡丹海老), so this was rich and creamy, a little sweet as well as a little sticky from the raw shrimp. This worked well with the dry fino as the acidity and oxidative characters balanced out the stuffing.

Toro Albalá Fino Electrico - not fortified, with 5 years of age. Savory notes here with some green olives.

Octopus vuelve a la vida / Nomad caviar - the octopus from Galicia was nice, but the slices were a little too big. The salt in the caviar was a little more than I would have liked. There was a sprinkling of quinoa as well as some slices of chayote and some sansho (山椒) pepper leaves. The acidity and fruity flavors of the dry white worked well to neutralize the salt in the caviar as well as enhance the acidity of the leche de tigre.

2020 Toro Albalá MIUT El Jabonero - this showed floral notes that weren't overpowering, along with some mineral notes like those found in Anjou pear. Medium fry on the palate. First vintage of this wine with 3,990 bottles produced.

Bolivian quinoa sourdough / Eva Aguilera 100% Arbequina olive oil - this is always delicious, and normally I would be happy with just the olive oil. But today is a little different...

1998 Toro Albalá Vinagre Balsamico Pedro Ximenez Gran Reserva - the first vintage vinegar produced by the winery. Very fruity.

Spanish corvina / cereal stew - the corvina from Galicia sat on top of a "porridge" of lentils, (bomba) rice, and other grains with a little citrus flavor.

Fosforera - this came on the side and was very rich and tasty, with tons of flavors from fish and langoustine heads.

1964 Toro Albalá Marqués de Poley Palo Cortado - bottled in 2017, made with fino from a vintage deemed to be poor. Definitely smoky, oxidized and savory on the nose, and slightly sharp thanks to the 22% alcohol after fortifying with brandy. Some fruitiness but leans dry, almost a little medicinal. Only produced twice in the winery's history.

We were shown the whole piece of ribeye that would be served to us for the next course, and was rubbed with asado negro.

Argentinian ribeye / hazelnut mole - the tasty beef came with both a mole poblano as well as a combination of asado negro with beef jus. We have tiny little ocas on the side along with oxalis, which was pretty nice.

1951 Toro Albalá Marqués de Poley Amontillado - coming in at 21% alcohol but not fortified. Acidity was higher here, and this was more focused.

Our homemade Ecuadorian chocolate / rosemary / Tonda Iblea olive oil - the signature dessert. I shall never tire of having this, even though I normally don't care for rosemary in my food.

1955 Toro Albalá Don PX Convento Selección - really floral and fragrant, lovely and exotic spices, cinnamon, dried figs, and plum. Amazingly round and sweet on the palate.

1946 Toro Albalá Don PX Convento Selección, bottled in 2013 - bigger nose than the 1955. Much more fragrant, can feel how sunny and warm the vintage was, and also very nice herbs on the nose.



It was a lot of fun meeting Antonio and learning about the wines, and I was really happy to have tasted all the wines, especially those which are pretty hard to come by. Looking forward to add some of these to my collection.

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