Tequila: It’s as simple as 1…2…3

The irrepressible and enthusiastic David Ravandi, a telling combination of practical and romantic mixed up in one persona, visited Portland this week to speak long and lovingly about his primary passion: his new Tequila brand, Uno Dos Tres.
Ravandi had a three part vision for his new tequila: First, it had to be organically made and organically certified.  Second, it had to be only of the finest quality.  And third, it had to be done in the authentic and traditional style of original tequila from the heartland of tequila.
Looks like he succeeded on all three counts.

Organically Certified
Despite romantic wishful thinking, Mexico is not largely organic. Quite the opposite, actually.  Poor and undeveloped is not the same thing as organic, and agrarian countries tend to depend fairly heavily on

chemicals when they can get them.  Likewise, although the modern tequila industry has established itself as a good, clean industry, it is not and has never really been particularly organic in philosophy or practice.  To be quite frank, there are several inorganic shortcuts and chemical additives in the process of tequila that would prevent organic certification. Uno.Dos.Tres Tequila, however, has worked hard to attain the coveted USDA Certified Seal of Organics.

Top Quality
Uno.Dos.Tres is a small batch, estate grown producer of exceptionally high quality tequila.  That is evident from the very first sip; it’s easy to tell that Ravandi is fierce and demanding about the quality and purity of the tequila. One good example of that is his practice of getting rid of the heads, that oily, odorous, and foul tasting first run of the still, when many tequilerias might either re-use it or sell it to other producers.

Authentic, Tradition, and a Declarative Style
Uno.Dos.Tres is a complete tequila education in three glasses---and a rather delightful education at that! The first glass, Uno, the blanco style, is fresh tequila straight out of the stillhead, rich and intense and herbaceous, with soft fruits on the tongue, floral notes in the middle…and a decidedly spicy, peppery bite at the finish.  This is classic and clean Heartland style, from the village of Amatitan (“Five minutes before you say Tequila in the Valley of Tequila.”), hearty and earthy as opposed to the softer and more floral/fruity style of the Highlands.

Dos, the Reposado, is unique and deliciously unlike any other Reposado you are likely to have.   Reposado requires from two to twelve months of barrel again, usually completed in used charred bourbon barrels.  But at Uno.Dos.Tres they utilize fresh barrels that have been subjected to the lightest possible char…more a heavy toast, really…so as to heighten the vanilla influences of the barrel surface rather than impart the heavier caramels of the deeper char, and let the tequila rest for six months.  There is little to no whiskey quality to Dos.  Instead, there is delicious sweet vanilla and a whispering hint of soft anise that lingers in the mouth.  It’s a surprise, this Dos, and a lovely one: a soft, delicate, but persistent floral, fruit style, the essence of a Heartland blanco, but softened, rounded, with all the edges taken off.

Tres, the Añejo style of the brand, is another anomaly.  Due to that gentler style of barreling evident in the Reposado, the Añejo with twelve months aging, and not a day more, is also softer than expected, and with far less of the whiskey-like character that signals the more standard aged version.  Less whiskey; more tequila---but a richer, creamier tequila with more body and assertiveness.
All in all, an impressive display of a unique style of tequila.  I expect you’ll be seeing quite a bit of it in the more discerning restaurants and bars in Oregon.  It’s a full range of tequila that would appeal to the most demanding connoisseur as well as the most creative of bartenders, whether for the perfect shot or the perfect cocktail creation.

 by Hoke Harden

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