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NETA MADRECUIXE ESPADIN (RANULFO)

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NETA MADRECUIXE ESPADIN (RANULFO)

Ensamble Madrecuixe + Espadín | June 2019 | Ranulfo García Pacheco | Fall 2020

Release | ENSRAN2006 | 246 Bottles

Born in 1957 and raised in the community of El Sauz, Ranulfo García Pacheco makes
some of the finest agave spirits in Miahuatlán. Ranulfo and his wife Carmela are
farmers, dedicated to cultivating the criollo varieties of corn, beans, and squash that
make up the backbone of the Oaxacan diet. Oranges, limes, lemongrass, and
passionfruit surround his palenque in El Sauz, and on nearby family land, Ranulfo
cultivates the Espadín, Bicuixe, and Madrecuixe he uses to produce his exquisite
spirits. In typical fashion, the agaves are generally mixed to compose each batch, but
every year sees one or two “single” maguey productions. After recently marrying and
having a baby girl, his youngest son, Ranulfo Jr., has returned to the ranch with his
family and assists his father around the palenque.
Ranulfo works his palenque only once a year, fermenting and distilling in the hot
months of April-June, before the heavy rains arrive and when the consistent ambient
temperatures result in more stable fermentation and a higher yield. When it comes
time to work, the family and trusted assistant roast just a single batch of homegrown

agave in his conical earthen oven, which they then craft into the 600-800 liters of high-
proof spirits they will produce that year. The family built an ox-drawn stone mill tahona

in the early 1990’s which continues to be their preferred method of macerating the
cooked maguey.
In the final week of May and beginning of June 2019, the family made two different
and nearly identical field blends using both Espadín and Madrecuixe in equal
proportions. Working four vats in pairs of two, the batches were split according to
when the guarape, or fermented mash, was ready for distillation. The contents and
recipes are essentially the same, varying only in slightly different fermentation times
with a marginally different final ABV and total yield. In preparing this 200-liter batch,
the first of the two, Ranulfo and his son selected a mix of 20 capón Espadin agaves and
25 capón Madrecuixe from their tierra blanca and tierra colorada lands. After resting
the freshly harvested maguey in the sun for over a week, the piñas were pit roasted
with local mesquite wood for four days. The unearthed maguey was set to rest for eight

more days before being crushed by a massive ox-drawn stone mill. The collected juices
of sweet, cooked agave miel, along with the fibers, were left to ferment for 48 hours in
two 1,200L capacity sabino wood tanks before being mixed with around 400 liters of
well water. Wet fermentation continued under watchful eyes and finished after ten
days.
As is custom in their village, Ranulfo and family continue to use a refrescadera with
their copper pot stills. Distilling with a refrescadera- a stainless-steel cylinder which is
placed around the cap of the still and filled with cold water- can yield a high proof spirit
in a single distillation. Doing it well, however, demands a well-learned palate and
significant experience. As the fermented guarape and fibers boil in the pot below, the
vapors rise and with the help of the cold refrescadera, condense and fall back into the
boiler pot below. There they are heated again before they finally pass through the
copper condensing coil and, now liquid, fall into the containers the maestro has set to
capture them.
Part of a family recipe, Ranulfo fills his refrescadera four times and carefully selects
multiple cuts from each run of the still- known as a postura. With his cuts, he is
principally separating the perla-rich “cordón” liquid from the tails which he calls shishe
or colas. This shishe is in turn mixed into the next postura of ready to be distilled
fermented agave juices and fibers. To compose each batch, the maestro uses only his
senses and the classic palenquero utensils – a jicara and venencia.
This ensamble is another exemplary representation of his craft and a tangible reflection
of the lands where it was made. With the exception of a small amount that has stayed
in the NETA reserve, the entirety of this batch has been available exclusively through
our partners in California, Pueblo de Sabor.

NETA works closely with several small, family producers and a cooperative of twelve palenqueros from
the southern valleys and hills of Miahuatlán, Oaxaca. Situated at the southern tip of the Central Valleys
and the foot of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains, the area is renowned for the strong character of
its people, its diverse landscapes, and the rich agricultural and culinary traditions that have been
maintained throughout generations. As such, the region has preserved its reputation for producing
some of the finest mezcales and agave spirits anywhere in Mexico. The recipes and knowledge have
been passed down and shared through family and community ties. Some mezcaleros follow their
grandfathers’ traditions to the letter, while others experiment to carefully fine-tune the laborious
process in accordance with their own tastes, observations, and relationships with the natural world.
No two productions can ever be exactly the same as environmental conditions, water, natural yeasts,
and soil types all contribute to their nuances just as much as the touch of their maker.

PRODUCT NAME NETA MADRECUIXE ESPADIN (RANULFO)
PRODUCT CODE RBBA1000038285
CATEGORY Mezcal

1 REVIEW

  1. Michael Elliott

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