When fourth- and fifth-generation agaveros, aka the guys growing the plump agaves that magically transform into tequila, enter the U.S. market with their nascent Cierto label, it’s definitely worth noting.
And when those very same agave farmers can boast crafting eight expressions that have snatched dozens of medals and awards each, even more so.
In fact Cierto claims to have won over 600 international medals and awards since inception just a handful of years ago—including “World’s Best Tequila” for their Reserve Collection Extra Añejo in 2020—making Sergio Mendoza and Enrique Fonseca’s Cierto the most awarded tequila ever.
What Mendoza and Fonseca promise as both seasoned agaveros and master distillers is to harvest their piñas only at peak ripeness, relying on their generational expertise to make those decisions.
Caring for their land is also of utmost importance, meaning Cierto promises to use only 100-percent natural agave grown from their Highland fields in Jalisco and never ever use any additives in crafting their alembic copper pot and Coffey column-distilled spirits at the widely respected Casa Tequileña distillery (NOM 1146).
This natural, additive- and impurity-free process is so important to Mendoza, Fonseca and fellow co-founder venture capitalist Todd Chaffee, that they certify their juice via Tequila Matchmaker.
Feel no fear plucking Cierto’s Blanco to get a feel for what they’re about—one of the four Private Collection expressions they’ve introduced to American soil starting last month (Blanco, Reposado, Añejo and Extra Añejo). But Spirit of the Week goes to the latter of the bunch: their luxuriously rich Private Collection Extra Añejo.
Aged primarily in French Limousin oak for at least three years, Reserve Collection Extra Añejo boasts an experience very close to a VSOP cognac in mouthfeel, color, profile and even aroma—prioritizing oak and sweet cherry to complement the natural cooked agave. Expect flavors of more oak, vanilla, honey and tobacco to round things out.
Packaged in a gemstone-chiseled bottle at 40% ABV, Cierto Private Collection Extra Añejo can be found for about $250.
Follow Contributing Spirits Editor Nicolas Stecher at @nickstecher and @boozeoftheday.