Mezcal, Tepeztate, Rey Campero
Helmed by Romulo Sanchez Parada, this family collective in Candelaria Yegolé, Zoquitlán, chose the name Rey Campero, meaning “King of the Countryside”, to reflect the relationship between the landscape and those who work so tirelessly to harvest the magueys from this challenging terrain. Romulo and his family have some of the most diverse and productive agave nurseries in Oaxaca; Espadín and rare varieties of agave such as Tepextate and Jabalí are cultivated side by side. When they achieve maturity, some are allowed to flower and seed, while the rest are harvested and cooked a traditional oven underground, rested, then milled, fermented and distilled using one of three small copper pots, finally offering the delicious elixir which is Mezcal Rey Campero. These distillates express an unflinching translation of the terroir, the family, and the agave which comprise it.
One of our favorite varieties, Tepextate (Agave marmorata), cultivated by the Sanchez family for decades and distilled through the ideosyncratic lens of Romulo Sanchez Parada. White flowers and yellow pepper lay the foundation for an expressive mid-palate of coriander, lawn clippings and banana leaf, with a textbook Tepextate finish of jalapeño and Sichuan peppercorn.