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Luna Malvado Reposado 100% Agave Tequila

Luna Malvada Reposado
100% Agave Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

Tequila is an agricultural product. At the heart of the spirit is the weber blue agave. Over the 8 to 10 years it takes the majestic plant to reach maturity, it is greatly affected by the growing conditions to which it is exposed. The French call it terroir. Everything from the land's altitude and its soil composition to the amount of sunshine and rainfall the plant receives affects the quality and flavor of its syrupy sugar.

From a terroir perspective, Luna Malvado 100% Agave Tequila is a groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind tequila. It's the only way to accurately describe a tequila that's not made from agave grown in the Highlands or the Lowlands of Jalisco. Instead, the estate-grown agaves used to make Luna Malvado are cultivated in the ancestral growing region near the Colima Foothills of southern Jalisco, a bio-diverse region with rich volcanic soil and dry tropical forests. The agaves are harvested during the full moon—the evil moon as it's called— when the plant's sugar content is at the peak of their vitality.

Launched in 2011 after nearly 12 years in development, Luna Malvado tequilas are handcrafted at Destiladora de Agave El Mentidero [NOM 1572], a small distillery in the south of Jalisco. After the agaves are harvested, they are baked in brick ovens and allowed to cool slowly to most thoroughly convert the plant's high sugar content. The baked agaves are then shredded and the extracted juice is vatted and fermented. Days later, the fermented juice is double-distilled in pot stills. The finished tequila is bottled on the Villa Purificacion estate at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).

Luna Malvado Reposado 100% Agave Tequila is matured for a minimum of 8 months in American oak barrels used previously to age red wine. The artisanal production techniques produce a tequila with sophisticated characteristics. The tequila has a deep amber hue, a satiny textured, medium-weight body and a tantalizing bouquet of citrus, chocolate, honey and butterscotch. It has a dry, smooth entry that bathes the palate with the flavors of vanilla, zesty orange, spice and dried herbs. The medium length finish features the added flavors of caramel and hazelnut with light smoky notes.

The small batch Luna Malvado Plata 100% Agave Tequila is equally captivating. Bottled fresh from the still, the tequila has a shimmery, crystal clear appearance, a medium-weight, oily textured body and an herbaceous bouquet. Its palate is a complex affair of roasted chiles, peppermint, white pepper and zesty citrus.

We're going to have to be patient for Luna Malvado Añejo 100% Agave Tequila. When released in late 2012, the finished tequila will have been aged 16 months in French oak red wine barrels. Advance tastings suggest it will be well worth the wait.