Casa San Matias has been making tequila for 130 years. To honor the occasion, it’s bringing its latest expression, San Matias Tahona, to the U.S., which marks its entry to the United States.
Importer Sazerac explains the way this particular blanco is made. (No other expressions of the Tahona variant are currently being produced.)
Because of its labor-intensive, costly nature, the tahona method is utilized by very few tequila makers. Once the blue agave is harvested from the Jalisco highlands, the heart of the agave (piñas) are slowly cooked in brick ovens and then carefully crushed by the very same original tahona Basalt stone that Casa San Matías used more than 100 years ago. This ancient tahona-method is used to extract the agave juices and retain the sweet, aromatic flavors. The juice is then fermented in pine wood vats, distilled twice in copper pot stills, bottled and hand-labeled.
This is an incredibly gentle silver tequila, just the slightest essence of pepper on the nose informing herbal agave, honey, and juicy lemon, which all linger underneath. The palate is silky to the point of absurdity. It just glides over the tongue like a spritz of misty air. It hits the palate with loads of flavor — some of it unexpected. On the tip of the tongue, the first hits are notes of lemon, fresh ginger, and floral notes, including some rose notes. As the palate evolves, that honey develops further, but never to the point where it overwhelms things, the pepper and some baking spice notes making a brief reprise. The finish is clean, slightly sweet with a touch of nougat and gently nutty.
All told, a very well-made blanco. I’d love to see how this one ages!
A- / $60 / sanmatias.com