The SOMM Journal

August / September 2018

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 114 of 124

HE'S A TRUE TEQUILERO renowned for two decades as the man behind Certified Organic renditions of the spirit—and now he can add mezcal to his repertoire. We first met David Ravandi in the late 1990s, several years after he developed Casa Noble, a tequila brand that soon ranked among the top in its class. When he sold it, he came away with an inherent understand - ing of how terroir affects agave as strongly as it does wine grapes. In 2010, Ravandi conceived an artfully packaged new brand harboring a liquid that left a stunning impression: When 123 Or - ganic Tequila (pronounced "Uno Dos Tres") was conceived, he received high honors and scores from competitions, publications, and critics alike. The Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo expressions all possess mouthfeels, agave character, and finesse of superior quality. As 123 Spirits' CEO and Master Distiller, Ravandi's motivation was to create "tequila for wine drinkers" by meticulously constructing layers of flavor, texture, and world-class taste profiles in his spirits. The double- distilled 123 Organic Tequila begins as 10-year- old 100 percent blue agave slow-roasted in an old-fashioned stone oven before fermentation without added yeast or sugar. Industry gatekeepers expect 123 Spirits brands to stand out in a crowd of bottles behind bars and on shelves as agave spirits that consistently overdeliver by pushing the premiumization envelope. Ravandi's Diablito Extra Añejo Organic Tequila, for instance, hails from a single estate and spends 40 months in white French oak; the agave sourced for the spirit grows at an altitude of 6,000 feet above sea level, further emphasizing the influence of advantageous terroir. Diablito is limited to the release of just 2,500 bottles per year. El Luchador Organic Te - quila, a distiller's proof blanco, also comes from a single estate. Its name is based on the Mexican lucha libre culture, a style of professional wrestling in which competitors don colorful masks. The 110-proof liquid offers notes of peppered lemon with a salinity attached to the clean agave profile. It's as powerful as you'd expect, but also silky- sweet, creamy, and complex with nougat, coconut, and agave building on the finish. Given the current upsurge of ar tisanal mezcals, Ravandi is on top of his game with his most recent release: a single- estate organic mezcal named Cráneo. Organic Espadín agaves grown in altitudes higher than 5,600 feet above sea level in Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, are processed at the company's distillery under Ravandi's supervision. The resulting spirit possesses pureness and clarity with a lime and agave nose, herbal palate, lightweight mouthfeel, and subtle echo of smoke. While this joven mezcal is a fine sipping spirit, it excels in cocktails by enhancing complexity as a base ingredient. A visionary in this category, Ravandi has helped herd agave spirits into ultra-premi - um positioning. We're excited to keep pace with him and his brands as he continues to lead in defining the craft category: It's not always as easy as 1, 2, 3. For more information, visit { who's who in spirits } DAVID RAVANDI UPHOLDS THE 123 SPIRITS PORTFOLIO OF SMALL- BATCH, ORGANIC AGAVE BRANDS The Tequila Wrangler 123 Organic Tequila (pronounced "Uno Dos Tres") was one of the first Certified Organic ultra-premium tequilas to emerge on the market. Legendary brand creator David Ravandi is the founder of 123 Organic Tequila, El Luchador Organic Tequila, and Cráneo Organic Mezcal. He's pictured here among organic blue agave plants in Amatitan, Mexico. With an annual release of just 2,500 bottles, 123 Organic Tequila Extra Añejo Diablito is derived from higher- elevation agave and aged for 40 months in new French Limousin oak barrels. 114 { THE SOMM JOURNAL

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of The SOMM Journal - August / September 2018