How to Read a Mezcal Label
Product page notes here. Espadin english label.
Maestro Mezcalero Jose Manuel Mendez debuts his 2021 wild tobala.
Tobala english label.
Tepeztate english label.
Tepeztate (Agave marmorata)
- Maturation: 20-30 years
- Sourced wild in the hills of Oaxaca
- Rested for 1+ year before bottling
Handcrafted in the village of San Dionisio de Ocotepec, Fuego Y Humo's wild tepeztate has sweet herbal notes on the nose and is very aromatic with distinctive green, fresh, and earthy notes common to most marmoratas.
On the palate, it will awaken your taste buds with pops of spearmint, jalapeño, peaches in syrup, vanilla ice cream, rosewater, cucumber, and carrot juice. There are hints of roasted jalapeños, green peppers, and an overall balanced sweet and smokiness. In a blind tasting, you'll definitely identify this one out of the group.
Overall, sweeter and more rounded than a tepeztate's typical sharp, more defined flavors, this one carries José's distinctive lactic and creamy taste throughout.
Floral, sweet, herbal, vegetal, nutty, fruity, ABV: 47%
A day in the life of a tepeztate
Infamous for its huge size and slow growth, the tepeztate plants are a wonder to behold. Unlike the diminutive tobala, the tepeztate can reach 5 feet in height and 6 feet in diameter. It is common throughout Oaxaca and also sourced wild.
Stories from the palenque
Very similar to the tobala in terms of harvesting, the wild tepeztates require a long drive and subsequent hike into the backcountry. However, this species of agave is treated with even more respect due to its maturation time and location.
José told us: "cutting the agave is highly risky. You have to defy your fears in ravines in order to harvest, and later challenge the aggressiveness of the agave sap as you carry each piña on your back". Sometimes a donkey can be used to load and carry the agave back to the car, which is actually where José gets the name for his palenque - Casa Arriero (a person who walks and guides a donkey). However, as long as you bring a bottle of mezcal to toast and ask permission from Mother Earth before harvesting, all should go well.