After Jose Cuervo, Tequila Sauza is Mexicos second largest producer of tequila. In 1873 Don Cenobio Sauza purchased several distilleries, intent on becoming a major tequila producer. His son Eladio Sauza ran the company after Don Cenobios death. Eladio expanded and upgraded La Perseverancia, his fathers first distillery purchase, until it has now become the Sauza showplace. Eladios son Javier broadened distribution and built Sauza into Mexicos second largest exporter of bulk tequila. Javier ran the company until Domecq acquired the company in 1987.
La Perseverancia is a large, modern distillery in the town of Tequila. Agave piņas pass directly from the trucks to a shredder. The shredded agave pulp moves by conveyor to upright autoclaves, where the pulp cooks in a quick eight hours. The aguamiel is pumped to large stainless steel vats for fermentation. The tequila is distilled in 4,000-liter stills.
Just a few miles down the road from the distillery is Rancho El Indio, Sauzas experimental agave plantation. It offers visitors the best explanation of the agave growing process, complete with demonstrations of the planting, selection, and harvest of the hijuelos, and the subsequent harvest of mature agave. Examples of various planting regimens, displays of the tools, and a tasting bar make Rancho El Indio a prime destination for any true tequila aficionado.
The Sauza house style is primarily mixto, with modest agave character and a solid sweetness (but not as sweet as Cuervo). The high-end tequilas have more complexity, with medicinal notes, a firm agave structure, and solid oak flavors.
Sauza Silver: Colorless. Strong and pungent on the attack. Moderate agave intensity, sencillo complexity. White pepper dominates the aroma, with modest agave and hints of floral character and acetone. Sweet and light in the mouth. Flavor is mostly white pepper. The finish is short and harsh.
Sauza Especial: Golden with a brown tinge, this tequila is full and pungent. Moderate intensity and sencillo complexity. Aromas of burnt caramel and dried grass dominate some doughy cardboard smells. Sweet and thick in the mouth with heavy toasty flavors up front that fall apart into a sweet, hot finish.
Sauza Conmemorativo: Pale yellow color, with a strong and pungent attack. Moderate agave intensity, suave complexity. Aromas of moderate ginseng agave, white pepper and strong hints of iodine. White pepper, vanilla, agave, and some iodine in the flavors. Sweet and medium mouth feel, leading to a long, complex finish of vanilla, white pepper, and iodine, reminiscent of blended scotch.
Sauza Hornitos: Pale golden color. Strong, mellow attack, with moderate, sencillo agave complexity. Caramel, earthy agave, and pepper aromas, followed by citrus and lilac. Sweet and full in the mouth. Caramel, agave, and pepper flavors. Aftertaste is long and tingly with just a hint of smoky bitterness. One of the best dollar for dollar values for 100% blue agave tequila.
Sauza Tres Generaciones: Pale gold color with moderate agave intensity and a mellow, full attack. Caramel aromas with some pepper and floral character. Sweet and oily in the mouth. Lots of smoke flavor with some pepper and a lot of acetone and overripe apple elements. Very hot finish with a long, smoky flavor.
Sauza Tres Generaciones 100% Agave: This new version of Tres Generaciones first appeared in 1997. Pungent and full on attack, this pale gold tequila shows moderate agave intensity and suave complexity. Moderate earthy agave and caramel are dominated by dry floral aromas. Sweet in the mouth with medium mouth feel, the dominant flavors are pepper and oak with slight agave, fruit, and floral notes. The finish is short and hot leading to moderate bitterness.
Galardon Gran Reposado: Sauzas newest entry into the 100% blue agave market, Galardon is light and mellow on the attack, and shows moderate intensity and sencillo complexity. Caramel and agave aromas are prominent, with hints of floral and spice. Slightly sweet and thin in the mouth. Agave and caramel flavors give way to a dry herbal flavor. Moderately sweet and hot on the finish with a long-lasting herbal flavor.