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Partida Blanco 100% Agave Tequila

Partida Blanco 100%
Agave Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

Partida Blanco is a perfect example of why enthusiasts are enthralled with sipping silver tequilas. Unadulterated by the affects of barrel aging, its vibrant exuberance is the purest expression of the master distiller's vision. If there are any missteps in production or inherent flaws in a range of tequila, they become immediately apparent in the blanco. In the endless journey of appreciating great silver tequilas, aficionados would be well advised to begin the journey with super-premium Partida Blanco 100% Agave Tequila.

Much of the explanation of this tequila's greatness stems from stringent attention to consistency and quality and an abiding respect for tradition. The estate-grown agaves used to make Partida tequilas come from estates in the Tequila Amatitan Valley. Its microclimate and the rich, red volcanic soil are ideal for cultivating Weber Blue agave.

Prior to harvesting, Maestro Tequilero José Valdez scrutinizes each plant to ensure it has reached peak maturity (between 7 and 10 years old), has a sugar content no less than 27%, and the piña weighs a minimum of 30kg. In addition, its leaves—called pencas—must be trimmed no longer than 2cm to prevent their natural bitterness from influencing the finished distillate. To best preserve the agaves' freshness they are harvested and cooked all in the same day.

The sugar-rich piñas are baked for 20-24 hours in stainless steel ovens. It should be noted that Partida utilizes stainless steel equipment for qualitative reasons. The only way to protect the cleanliness of the finished tequila is to make sure that the equipment used in its production is spotlessly clean, which is attainable when they're made out of stainless.

After the agaves are baked, the extracted juice is allowed to slowly and naturally ferment. The wild yeast used to precipitate fermentation comes from the agaves themselves or are airborne in the environment. To maintain consistency from one small batch to the next, Valdez starts the process with juice that has the same concentration of residual sugar (11 brix). Distillation takes place in two stages, both of which occur in traditional pot stills. The tequila is allowed to rest for two weeks after distillation and then again after it's rendered to 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof). These added steps allow its flavors to become fully integrated. Valdez adds no artificial coloring, sweeteners, flavor enhancers or glycerin to his tequila.

Partida Blanco is hand-bottled fresh from the still. The altogether elegant tequila is crystal clear with a svelte, silky smooth body and an engaging floral, citrus and spice bouquet. Its aromatics alone are worth the price of admission. The palate is a well-balanced offering of herbs, honey and delightfully subtle fruit notes that gradually subside into a soul-satisfying finish. Little wonder why it's such a highly acclaimed spirit. Marvelous as it is sipped neat, the blanco is also an ideal choice for use in cocktails or any tequila-based drink.

The fact is that the all of Partida's tequilas are world-class. Partida Reposado is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of six months. It's an amber gem with a slightly sweet bouquet and a layered palate of vanilla, chocolate and almonds. Partida Añejo is matured for no less than 18 months. During its stay in wood the tequila acquires an alluring copper hue and a generous bouquet of ripe red fruit, spice and cocoa aromas. The tequila delivers waves of fruit and pastry like flavors. The memorable finish is top notch.

For those who appreciate aged tequila, the brand's crowning achievement is Partida Elegante Extra Añejo. The tequila spends between 36 to 40 months in once used Jack Daniels barrels. It is a sophisticated spirit a deep amber hue, a luxurious body and a bouquet of dark chocolate, dried fruit and vanilla. The palate is highly nuanced with floral, spicy and fruit flavors that gradually subside into a memorable finish.

Although all of these tequilas are sensational when mixed, do yourself a favor and sample them neat first. You deserve to first experience Partida tequilas as they were intended to be savored. Salud!