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Partida Elegante Anejo Tequila

Partida Elegante
Extra Añejo 100%
Agave Tequila


By Robert Plotkin

Partida is among the fastest growing brands of super-premium tequila in the country and megastar Partida Elegante Extra Añejo 100% Agave Tequila will only serve to fan the flames. The first tequila to bear the extra añejo designation on its label, Elegante is a dramatic example of what can be achieved when patience and expertise melds with unbridled passion.

This luxurious spirit is handcrafted using estate-grown from 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 Elegante is matured between 36 to 40 months in once used Jack Daniels barrels. After 2 years, a small portion of the aging tequila is transferred to smaller 100 liter barrels, a technique designed to bolster its color and flavor. That portion is later blended back into the original barrels before being bottled at 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof).

Elegante has a dark amber hue and an enticing bouquet of dark chocolate, honey, dried fruit and vanilla. Its aromatics are captivating. Its velvety medium-weight body bathes the palate with the flavors of caramel, banana, cocoa and baking spice, all of which gradually subside into a long, memorable finish. Be fully prepared to be wowed.

Of course that holds true for all of the Partida tequilas. Unadulterated by the affects of barrel aging, Partida Blanco is crystalline perfection. It has a silky smooth texture and wafting aromatics of floral, citrus and spice. The palate is a well-balanced offering of herbs, honey and fruit. Partida Reposado is aged in oak barrels for a minimum of six months. It has an amber hue with a slightly sweet bouquet and a layered palate of vanilla, chocolate and almonds. Partida Añejo is matured for a minimum of 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 long-lasting waves of fruit and pastry-like flavors.

Should you be fortunate enough to have Partida Elegante in your glass, congratulations! You must have done something exceptionally good in your life to warrant such a fine reward. Salud!