Bodegas Alvear Pedro Ximinez 1927 solera 16%

From Spain, in the Montilla-Moriles region. Pedro Ximinez (commonly referred to as PX) is a thin-skinned white grape variety with some minor plantings in Australia (Campbells and Buller’s come to mind).

In Spain, it is often air-dried on  mats, concentrating the sugars, placed into barrel, and fortified to produce an unctuous, dessert wine, often using a solera system to keep the blends fairly consistent.

This wine (served blind and shared with a group) was a very dark khaki/espresso coffee colour with an amber rim. It was bursting with vitality, with ripe raisin and some black tea characters. While people were having mental debates about whether this wine was a muscat or a topaque (formerly tokay)  – of considerable age), I confidently asserted that the wine was an excellent PX example.

The palate was incredibly lush, with raisin, mocha and toffee notes; the flavours lingered, and while I guessed that the wine had >300 g/l of residual sugar, their website confirmed 405 g/l. The intensity assisted my score, the freshness also assisted, but the wine was relatively straightforward. Its alcohol level made the wine very easy to drink!  Despite being an excellent example of an old PX, it lacked the savoury bite, mouthfeel and layers of myriad flavours of old and rare Rutherglen fortifieds.

The bottle shows 1927 as the start date of the solera,and it undoubtedly contains some very old material, but I find it’s very difficult to assess an average age for this wine – as does the producer– but warmly encourage people to give this wine style a try.

Drink now, and 92 points

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