Review Detail

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Blancos T February 27, 2010 17886
Charbay Tequila Blanco
Overall rating
Initial Taste
I was anxious to try this tequila since I had made two visits to the distillery where this product was produced. In fact, by sheer chance, the day I was at the facility for my second visit - this tequila was actually going through its second distillation. At the time, much was made of the technique that the distillers were using. It was supposedly a European approach rather than a Mexican one. I must say that the taste of this blanco is unusual, but, perhaps that is not enough to make it exceptional.
Looking at the bottle, the "wine" look was certainly well achieved. Using the GPS numbers that correspond to the location of the agave fields was clever and perhaps useful. But, for anyone that understands the French term "terroir" - a bit useless. It works for wine because every year there can be a new harvest of grapes from that identical location. This is not possible with tequila unless only a portion of the agave field is taken - and even then - when each individual agave is ready - it must be harvested. Agave fields are planted systematically with all new plants being approximately the same age. The agave from a given field, therefore, are most likely to be harvested over a very short period of time - say - one year. Then, that field, or GPS location, if you will - is not going to yield another harvest for 7-10 years. In other words, the next time you bottle some tequila (as a blanco), it is almost certainly going to come from a different field. This will make it taste different - and if it does not taste different - the taste is being manipulated or "averaged out" so it will taste the same. That sort of defeats the purpose.
The aroma of Charbay blanco in a Riedel glass is strong with agave; very floral and grassy. Its initial taste is very alcoholic with strong citrus, pepper and even green olives. Body is rich, thick, viscous: and legs in a glass are thick and slow to drain. To me, it is reminiscent of a lowland blanco because it has such a "rough" profile. There is no fading in the finish.This tequila tastes the same from first to last sip - with possibly a slight reduction in alcohol burn after numerous sips. I feel that sangrita between sips would be very much appreciated.
The price is fair at around $60.00 and the bottle is average. In fact, every time I look at the bottle on the shelf surrounded by other tequilas - I keep thinking that someone slipped in a bottle of wine as a trick. Since this was a limited production tequila, it should be interesting to see what the second coming has to offer. And, of course, it will most certainly have different GPS co-ordinates.
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