K&L Wine Merchants - Header

Our Favorite Tequila Under $30 - 09/05/2013 - Other Distilled Spirits

The future of high-quality tequila is only now just beginning. For decades, the beloved Mexican spirit has grown in popularity, captured hearts around the world, and taken gigantic steps in both quality and production, yet only now are we witnessing the next step – traceability. More so than any other distilled spirit, tequila showcases the terroir of its base material – the agave plant – much like the finest Chablis or single vineyard pinot noir showcases the terrain of the grape. Just like we’ve come to discuss the creation of fine wine in terms of geography, climate, weather, and soil concerning the vineyard, these same elements ultimately play a large factor in the flavor of an agave piña , and therefore the final flavor of the tequila. As we look to begin changing the conversation in how we discuss tequila and why it tastes the way it does, we need to make sure we provide customers the information necessary to have this dialogue. That’s why, this past May, we went down to Guadalajara, visited our friends at El Viejito distillery, and worked with Campeon owner Lou Palatella to design our own exclusive blanco tequila in our own declarative package – everything you need to know about the agave is right there on the label. El Viejito distillery is located near Atotonilco in the highland region and is operated by the Núñez family. They source all of their agave from local farmers growing their plants at an elevation between 6,931 and 9,479 feet in mineral-rich, volcanic soils. The resulting tequila is therefore clean, saline, and mineral-flavored with lots of peppery spice and plenty of drive, reflecting the flavors of the ground in which the agave was grown. It is a deliciously pure blanco tequila that’s good enough to sip, but at $29.99, you won’t feel guilty using it to mix a top-quality Margarita. Whether or not our new Campeon blanco inspires you into your own personal adventure of understanding agriculture and how it impacts the flavor of tequila, we still think you’ll be back for seconds... and thirds. It’s that good.

Staff Image

Campeòn K&L Exclusive Blanco Tequila 750ml ($29.99)

We've always been fans of the Campeon tequilas, we just always had an issue with the bottle. It didn't fit on our shelves, it didn't fit in our shipping containers, and it didn't have a story or any specifics about the tequila itself. That's when brand owner Lou Palatella asked me to make some suggestions about what we might fix. I ended up getting on a plane to Guadalajara, visiting El Viejito distillery (who helped make Patron for years), and signing off on a special batch of Campeon blanco made just for K&L. I was really impressed with the quality of the El Viejito products and their commitment to sourcing the finest agave from the Highland region. We designed a new label that would list these important statistics about the agave: all sourced from an elevation of 6,931-9,479 feet, and a gravelly, volcanic soil. It's this terroir that plays an important role in the flavor of the Campeon blanco tequila, as Highland agave from that altitude is known for its fruity, spicy flavor. We didn't want the addition of oak to mask these flavors, so we only made a batch of blanco, rather than reposado or anejo. For me, as a retailer and a growing aficionado of tequila, it's important to understand how amazingly pure tequila can be when the agave is of quality, the yeast naturally taken from the agave itself, and no additives or sweeteners are added to mellow the flavor. Our new batch of Campeon is clean, peppery, fruity, and smooth. Unadulterated and delicious. Yum. (David Driscoll)

Staff ImageJoe Manekin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 30, 2013

I do not drink tequila often, but when I do, I prefer Campeon K&L Exclusive Blanco. Seriously, though, you don't need to be the most interesting man in the world to appreciate this tequila's spicy, agave character. It's crisp, very pure and clean tasting, and at under $30 this is definitely up there amongst the best values in the spirits department right now.

Staff ImageJeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: August 26, 2013

A nice and tasty Tequila that has wonderful citrus like aromas. It is soft and clean tasting with citrus flavors and a subtle hint of spice. It would be great in cocktails but is good enought to drink alone.