Pueblo Viejo

San Matias

(NOM 1103)

One of the great historical distilleries, San Matias was founded in the 1880s near the town of Tequila. Owner Delfino González started the original distillery on his Rancho San Matias. Over the years, he developed the business, built additional distilleries, and created the San Matias brand, especially successful in northern Mexico.

In 1958, Delfino brought in Guillermo Castañeda as a partner. Together, they moved the company to Tepatitlan in the Los Altos area, where Castañeda directed the company to national success until he retired in 1985. He sold the company to Jesus Lopez.

Lopez launched a new brand, Pueblo Viejo. Made from 100% blue agave, Pueblo Viejo found instant acceptance, especially in the state of Jalisco. Every taxi driver I talked with recommended Pueblo Viejo Tequila. San Matias also does well as a mixto tequila, but is hard to find in the United States—more than 98% of its sales are in Mexico.

Lopez was an outspoken critic who demanded enforcement of regulations concerning the amount of agave used in tequila production. In June of 1997, Jesus Lopez was brutally assassinated in front of his distillery. At this writing, his murder remains unsolved. The future of both Pueblo Viejo and San Matias does not look bright.

Tasting Notes

San Matias Reposado: Light golden color with a full, pungent attack. Light agave intensity. The aromas are completely dominated by pungent, smoky, cooked vegetable smells. Medium sweet with medium mouth feel. Flavors are vegetal with caramel and smoke. Very hot finish gives way to a burnt cardboard aftertaste.

Pueblo Viejo Blanco: Colorless, full, and slightly pungent on the attack. Light agave intensity and sencillo agave complexity. Herbal, artichoke, and ripe apple aromas dominate. Low sweetness and thin to medium mouth feel. Some pepper and sweet caramel flavors with hints of agave. Hot, medium finish with a sweet, apple flavor.

Pueblo Viejo Reposado: Pale yellow color with a moderate, pungent attack. Sencillo complexity with moderate agave intensity. Some earthy agave aromas are mixed with smoke, caramel, and bits of pepper. Sweet and full in the mouth. Caramel and earthy agave flavors dominate. The finish is hot with long-lasting flavors of white pepper that turn to caramel.