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Don Diego Santa 100% Agave Anejo Tequila

Don Diego Santa
100% Agave Añejo Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

Don Diego Santa 100% Agave Tequila is one of those brands that seems to have burst on to the American scene from out of nowhere. In actuality, it's more of an overnight sensation generations in the making. The brand's coming out party was the prestigious Spirits of Mexico competition in 2010 when each of its three expressions earned the event's coveted gold medals. There's been no looking back after that.

Don Diego Santa is handcrafted at the Destilería Rio de Plata (NOM 1124) in Guadalajara, a small distillery founded in 1943 that only produces 100% agave tequilas from estate-grown blue agaves. After harvesting, the agaves are shredded and allowed to slowly ferment. The fermented wash is then double-distilled in small copper pot stills. The brand is made in limited quantity by Maribel Garcia, one of only a handful of women master blenders in the tequila industry in Mexico. Each of the expressions is certified Kosher and bottled at 80 proof.

Critically acclaimed Don Diego Santa 100% Agave Añejo Tequila is a sophisticated spirit aged between 12 and 18 months in small white oak barrels. The tequila has a golden/amber appearance, a lushly textured body and a wafting bouquet of cinnamon, chocolate, vanilla and toasted oak. The entry is soft and smooth and immediately fills the mouth with an enticing array of flavors, including caramel, almonds, honey and green apples. It finishes long and slightly spicy. Be prepared to be seriously impressed—the judges were.

Like its older sibling, Don Diego Santa 100% Agave Reposado Tequila is an elegant, easy to drink spirit. The small batch tequila is aged around 8 months in small American white oak barrels. During its time in wood, the reposado develops a lustrous gold color and a spicy, fruity and vanilla bouquet. The aromatics thoroughly prepare the palate for what's in store. Its gentle entry expands quickly and fills the mouth with cinnamon, chocolate, caramel and spicy warm flavors. The finish is long and silky smooth.

Bottled fresh from the still, Don Diego Santa 100% Agave Blanco Tequila makes a marvelous entree to the joys of sipping unaged tequila. It has crystalline clarity, a satiny texture and a generous bouquet. The well-balanced palate is brimming with chocolate, black pepper, mocha, citrus and baked fruit. It's an amazing extravaganza of flavors. The lingering finish is spicy and satisfying.

Artisanal Don Diego Santa is one of the best and brightest new brands of tequila that has entered the American market these past few years. On behalf of a thirsty nation, we say welcome to the United States. Salud!