Master Distiller Sophie Decobecq is something of an anomaly in the world of tequila, not just for being a woman in a male-dominated industry, but for her application of science to tequila production. She graduated from an eminent university in her native France in 1999 with degrees in biochemistry and engineering. After graduating she moved to Mexico where she studied the science of fermentation at the Polytechnics Institute of Mexico City. As part of her research she visited tequila distilleries in Jalisco, where a passion for the culture, people and tequilas of the region took hold. In 2003 she established a company, Imex International, with the goal of creating some of the finest tequilas in the world.
The blue agave plants chosen for Calle 23 are hand-selected from Los Altos de Jalisco (Highlands), between Tepatitlan and Arandas. These fields are in conversion to organic farming. In this unique area, the agave plant benefits from hot and sunny dry periods, followed by heavy rainy seasons. The fertile soil, rich in minerals, produces agaves of exceptional quality which take seven to ten years to reach full maturity.
The agave is carefully cooked in precision, stainless steel autoclaves. Sophie uses one base yeast for all her tequilas; a second one is also used for Calle 23 Blanco and Anejo, and a third for the Reposado.
Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks over an average of 72 hours. Double distillation is done in stainless steel pot stills with copper serpentine steam elements. All the process water is drawn from the distillery's own well. The tequilas are filtered with cellulose after each distillation, the second time at low temperature.
Light and pretty aromas of florals, honeysuckles and herbs precede flavors of crisp apple, sweet tropical pineapple and ripe pear. A hint of black pepper on the finish provide lift and freshness.