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The behemoth company Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy (LVMH suffices, for any luxury consumer) conjures a mind-boggling range of high-end goods, from some of the world’s great watches to the most recognized handbags to the world’s most iconic Champagne (“Dom” suffices on that front). What LVMH hasn’t meant to spirits lovers is tequila. But Moët Hennessy has checked that box with Volcan de mi Tierra, a set of tequilas (Blanco and Cristalino) sourced from the aptly named Tequila Volcano in the state of Jalisco.
According to Trent Fraser, founder, president, and CEO (and former vice president of Dom Pérignon), the birth of Volcan de mi Tierra tequilas was a hard-won process, involving more than 125 iterations of the Blanco and Cristalino. And from conception to glass, it’s been a team effort with Mexico’s prominent Gallardo family, stemming from a longstanding friendship between Don Juan Gallardo and Moët Hennessy. The result: innovative products steeped in local tradition.
Fraser describes endless experimenting in the cause of finding the perfect blends. “We played with different elements,” he says, “such as cask maturation and aging, agave selection, and yeast strains that affected the outcome each time. We never had a bad sip; they only got better. But we landed on a combination for the Blanco and Cristalino that really emphasized the terroir.” That combo is unique to the industry—a blend that includes agave from the lowland and the highland, for complexity and interest. The agave from the lowland, in his view, delivers austere and herbaceous flavors; from the highland, citrus and floral notes, with a great deal of finesse.
The two tequilas start with the same process: 75 percent lowland agave is heated in a tahona (traditional brick oven) for 44 hours, then crushed on a stone wheel. That, in turn, is blended with 25 percent highland agave that’s been cooked for 12 hours. As Fraser describes it, “The highland agave holds more water but has a lower density of fibers, which is why it yields a fruitier flavor.” The mixture is first distilled in a copper still, then again in stainless steel.
The Volcan de mi Tierra Blanco ($45) is indeed herbaceous—downright savory, with a saline minerality. But high-toned floral notes and a gamut of citrus, from lime through orange, adds brightness to the earthy profile. And a smooth, sweet agave core owns the finish. This would make a terrific bar-cart staple for home cocktails.
The Volcan de mi Tierra Cristalino ($70) is a blend of añejo, aged for one year in cask, and extra añejo, aged for three years. Interestingly, the color from that time in wood has been extracted. But the tequila’s clarity is not a guide to flavor. Vanilla, dried fruits, and hints of warm spice, caramel, and savory dried herbs are all layered here. This one is rich and complex—a sipper, not a mixer.