San Bartolo Espadin (Enrique Diaz Cruz) Artesanal Mezcal (750ml)
The exceptional San Bartolo brand was conceived of by Daniel Martinez and his grandfather legendary mezcalero Valentin Martinez Lopez. Don Valentin has been making mezcal in the little village of San Bartolo Yautepec for more than 50 years and his connections with mezcaleros in this hard to get to corner of Oaxaca are deep. Their closest allies are in the neighboring village Santa Maria Quiegolani. Here Maestro Enrique Diaz Cruz has been making mezcal for most of his nearly 70 years on earth. The village is located at 7,000 feet, deep into the Sierra Sur about 1.5 hours south of San Bartolo Yaupatec. Like Don Valentin, Enrique Cruz practices artisanal production using traditional underground ovens, horse-drawn tahona press, wooden fermenters with native yeasts, and small copper pot stills. The style in the Southern regions offers a slightly less mesquite-forward character than some of the villages in Tlacolula to the north. Gorgeous vibrant agave fruit and earthy minerality are the welcome hallmarks of a high quality espadin. Few products match San Bartolo in terms of quality for the dollar.