Last week I put out a notice on this blog beckoning to tequila companies - I needed more agave spirit. It's not that there's a shortage of tequila on the market. In fact, it's quite the opposite - a real glut. The problem is that there's a shortage of GOOD tequila on the market. Not just quality, but authenticity as well. Who made it? Where and how was the tequila made? What kind of wood was it aged in? You'd be amazed, but 95% of tequila salesmen don't know the answers to these questions because it's not about that for them. They're interested in building the brand name and getting it into as many stores as possible to compete with Patron.
Frank Mendez called me this week and told me he'd like to come present his new family project: Gran Dovejo tequila. While Frank and his cousin don't come from a tequila making background, they consider themselves afficionados and feel the same exasperation I do towards the current state of things. They said to themselves: if we're going to do this, we're going to do it right - no cutting costs, no hiring a giant factory to mass produce flavorless swill, no catering to Costco, no parties with celebrities, just good tequila. In order to do so, they tracked down Leopoldo Solis Tinoco (one of the great master distillers in Mexico) to help bring Gran Dovejo to life. Leopoldo was so satisfied with the final result that he offered to put his name on the bottle as a sign of approval.
Let's get to the tasting notes! The blanco is outstanding - vibrant, expressive, bursting with citrus, flowers and spices, but finishing cleanly. The blanco is always the test of any tequila and Dovejo passes with flying colors. This is easily the most exciting blanco I've had in over a year and it will speak to any true tequila sipper out there - a benchmark for white spirits. The reposado is the most understated of the bunch - mild mannered, hinting at greatness, but never unleashing its true potential. I enjoyed it and found it to be quite tasty on the finish, but it had to follow the blanco so it got dwarfed under the expectation. I've never tasted a tequila more suited for bourbon drinkers than the Gran Dovejo añejo. It has all the texture, the new wood, the spice, and the mouthfeel. I love that they didn't let this thing get all supple, soft, and smooth because there's enough of that in the market. Imagine a bourbon, but one where all the spice came from the spirit rather than from the wood! This tequila spend 18 months in a barrel but it tastes like an 8 year old bourbon because the spirit itself is so expressive! A wonderful addition to the blanco.
So that makes one new exciting tequila! I'm glad there are still some fresh new faces out there in the agave world because I was getting a bit nervous. There should be here by the end of next week so stay tuned.