The Tasting Panel magazine

October 2013

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Unleashing the Diablito DAVID RAVANDI BELIEVES THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS WHEN IT COMES TO TEQUILA by Jonathan Cristaldi PHOTO: MARTIN LOF O 123 Organic Tequila founder David Ravandi. n a bright sunny afternoon in August, just before the intensity of the Los Angeles summer began to rear its head, TASTING PANEL MAGAZINE Executive Editor Meridith May and I sat down to a tapas-style lunch at recently relocated AOC restaurant with David Ravandi, the founder of 123 Organic Tequila (Uno Dos Tres). Ravandi, who cuts a handsome, Hemingway-esque figure, donning a straw hat and big grin and exuding the kind of contentment that only comes from an accomplished tequila expert, poured us samples of his exquisite new 123 Organic Extra Añejo (Diablito)—which sports a signature "little devil" on the label—and we were instantly transported to an ethereal blue agave heaven. Ravandi's tequilas have been crafted with the wine connoisseur in mind. Just as there is a noticeable difference between wines produced from valley-floor grapes and wines produced from grapes grown at higher elevations, where the vines must work harder to reach nutrients, there is 123 Organic Extra Añejo (Diablito) The bottle is made from hand-blown recycled glass and labeled with recycled paper and soy inks in keeping with the organic and sustainable practices of the brand. The tequila itself is nicely balanced with sweet spice, vanilla, anise and chestnuts, leading to a rich and complex mouthfeel with more spice and delicate citrus aromatics. 123 Organic Extra Añejo (Diablito) is the latest creation from tequila entrepreneur David Ravandi. a distinct difference in tequilas grown at varying altitudes. "The higher up the mountain you go, sweeter and more floral notes are produced by the blue agave," says Ravandi, as he describes the iron-rich Tierra Roja soils of his estate, which sits upon the highest peaks of the region and is designated solely for the production of his Diablito Extra Añejo. According to NOM (the official Mexican standard for tequila) the words "extraañejo" indicate that the tequila has been aged for a minimum of three years in contact with oak, and as Ravandi boasts, "This is a true extra-aged añejo, and you can tell by the delicateness of the spirit—it nearly demands to be sipped on its own, though you can't go wrong if accompanied by a good Cuban cigar." The other members of the 123 Organic Tequila family—the fragrant Blanco (Uno), the sultry Reposado (Dos) and the silky Añejo (Tres)—show increasing complexity and can be used for classic cocktails or enjoyed neat. Ravandi insists, however, that 123 Extra-Añejo Diablito is strictly a sipping tequila—one to be savored alongside the finest cigars or shared with good friends. Only 1,000 bottles of Diablito have been released worldwide. "A lot of passion and years of experience go into making our tequila. It's our belief that you can't go wrong when you start with the utmost in quality," says Ravandi. This tequila connoisseur's passion and experience are nowhere better exemplified than in his latest creation, which is imbued with his vast expertise and packaged to reflect his characteristic style and wit. "The devil is in the details," remarked Ravandi with an all-knowing smile as we marveled at the complexity of this stunning Extra Añejo—and who should know better than the creator of Diablito? 36  /  the tasting panel  /  october 2013 TP1013_034-65.indd 36 9/23/13 10:33 PM

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