67Wine

Neta Agave Spirits Espadin Candido Garcia Cruz 98.3 Proof 750ml

SKU: P69634 ISBN: 703158215165
$95.99

Wine Information:

Country: Mexico

Region: Oaxaca

Appellation: Miahuatlan

Variety: -

$95.99
 


Though the variety of Agave angustifolia commonly known as Espadín is now widespread

in Oaxaca, it is not actually native to the region. Some claim that Espadín began to appear

in Oaxaca as early as the 1930’s, but most references date its arrival several decades later

when government programs and Matatlán-based business interests began to promote its

cultivation. Because Espadín yields well, reproduces easily, and matures quickly, it is prized

as a cash crop and is planted widely throughout the state. However, a spirit made from this

agave should not be overlooked just because of the ubiquity of its raw material. In fact,

precisely for this reason, Espadín serves as an excellent lens for understanding the different

terrains and production methods of Oaxaca. A quality Espadín, like this 2015 production

from maestro Candido García Cruz, is a reflection both of the spirit’s place of origin and the

skill of its maker.

Candido works with quiotudo agaves, meaning he cuts each plant’s quiote before it has a

chance to flower. This method, which concentrates the agave’s sugar in the piña rather than

sending the energy towards reproduction, requires extra time for each plant to fully ripen

in the fields. The extra time improves the yield of each piña and develops a richness of

flavor not found in less mature agave.

In March 2015, under the light of a full moon, Candido and his family harvested 90

gigantic, quiotudo Espadín plants from a mineral-rich tierra colorada parcel of their land.

On this parcel, they grow their maguey alongside alternating crops of the corn, beans, and

squash that provide much of the food for their family. Later that month, they roasted the

sugar-rich piñas with mesquite wood in their earthen oven. After unearthing the agave, the

caramelized piñas rested for a week before being chopped by machete and passed

through a mechanical mill. The dry fibers were let to sit for two days before they added

filtered water to the Montezuma cypress fermentation tanks. Espadín, as any well-cooked

maguey with a high sugar content, requires a relatively long fermentation time, and in this

case, demanded 16 days in water before the tepache was ready for distillation. No longer

as agile as he was in his youth, Candido now often plays a supervisory role in his

productions – though he remains a present participant in each step of the process. To

produce this lot, Candido worked the copper pot stills with his two daughters. Adjusting

the richness of the batch with heads, hearts, and común macizo, they yielded roughly 900

liters of this exceptional destilado de Espadín we are proud to share with you.

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