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100% Puro de Agave Plata


By Robert Plotkin

We're all products of our environment. The same holds true for blue agaves. These majestic plants are greatly affected by the growing conditions they're subjected to over the 8 to 12 years it takes them to mature. Factors such as rainfall, humidity, temperature, soil composition and the altitude of the fields ultimately dictate the quality and flavor of the agave's residual sugars, which in turn, determine the quality and flavor of the finished tequila. The French refer to it as terroir and it affects agaves and tequila just as it does grapes and wine.

No brand better demonstrates the profound affect of terroir than ultra-premium TEQUILA OCHO 100% Puro de Agave Tequilas. While their tequilas are all distilled in the highlands of the Los Altos region, each vintage-dated bottling showcases the agave from an individual estate. For example, the agaves distilled for the 2009 TEQUILA OCHO Añejo were cultivated in the heat and humidity of El Vergel Estate, which is located at a different altitude and miles away from the red soil of the Rancho Carrizal Estate, where the agaves used to make the 2008 vintage of TEQUILA OCHO Añejo were grown. Viva la difference!

The clear advantage this affords the makers of all-natural TEQUILA OCHO is they can then select the best agaves to distill into tequila year after year. It also ensures aficionados each bottling will possess the finest character traits the vintage has to offer. That said, what's not subject to change is the distiller's commitment to handcrafting tequilas using traditional techniques. The mature agaves are baked in stone ovens for three days and fermented in open-air wooden vats. The tequila is double-distilled in small batches at low temperatures, a slower process that yields a more flavorful, character-laden spirit. The reposado and añejo expressions are aged in used bourbon whiskey barrels.

The 2010 vintage of TEQUILA OCHO 100% Puro de Agave Plata is an exquisite example of what the makers are looking to achieve. This year's offering is characteristically different than those of previous releases. The agaves used in its production were cultivated in the red volcanic soil of Rancho Los Corrales situated high in the Los Altos Mountains. It has ideal clarity, a velvety textured body and the alluring aromas of citrus, black pepper and roasted chiles. The tequila immediately fills the mouth with warm spicy and herbaceous flavors that gradually transition into a long peppery, fruity and chocolaty finish. The combined effect is enthralling.

The agaves used to create the 2009 vintage of TEQUILA OCHO Single Estate Reposado came from Rancho Las Pomez Estate, which is also located in the high altitudes of Los Altos. The elegant, 100% agave tequila is aged in charred oak barrels for 9 weeks and a day so as to not obscure its earthy agave character. It has a light gold-colored appearance, a creamy textured body and lively floral and tropical fruit aromas. The palate presents an extravaganza of flavors ranging from nutmeg, caramel and baked fruit to cinnamon, custard and peppery spice. The finish is warm and satisfying. A brilliant tequila.

The 2009 release of TEQUILA OCHO 100% Puro de Agave Añejo also has its origins in the red soil of Rancho Carrizal. Barrel-aged for one year, it's highly aromatic and brimming with flavor. The tequila has a lush, medium-weight body and a wafting bouquet of dried fruit, vanilla and baking spices. It bathes the palate with warm, honeyed flavors before tapering to a moderately spicy finish. The añejo is a sophisticated spirit with finesse and complexity.

TEQUILA OCHO Single Estate Tequila provides a rare glimpse into the interplay of nature and dedicated craftsmanship. Grab a bottle while you can and appreciate firsthand how marvelous harmony tastes.