Cenote tequila actually comes from a volcano nowhere near Yucatán, but the label evokes the Peninsula’s ancient history. Photo: Stoli

We have cenotes, and now we have Cenote™ — the trademark of a new line of spirits.

Although not from Yucatán, Cenote tequila is inspired by the spectacular limestone cenotes scattered throughout the Peninsula, said New York City-based Stoli Group. Cenote with a capital “C” comes in a bottle adorned with an illustration that evokes a cenote and Mayan glyph depicting Chaac, the rain god.

The “super-premium” product is a 100 percent Agave Azul Tequilana Weber tequila. Master Distiller Arturo Fuentes and Master Blender Alejandro Garcia Páez manage the entire process at Fabrica de Tequilos Finos, located at the foot of Tequila Volcano in Jalisco.

It’s Stoli’s first time creating a new brand from start to finish, since the company normally acquires existing brands.

At launch, the line will comprise of Blanco, Reposado and Añejo, made with volcano water from an artesian well located on the distillery’s grounds.

The water goes through reverse osmosis and carbon filters with silver ions to eliminate the chance of impurities. It is fermented in stainless steel columns before undergoing double-pot distillation through a combination of copper and silver stills – a process that preserves the natural flavors of the top-quality agave used. The entire range is aged in American Oak Bourbon Barrels.

Cenote Tequila Blanco mellows for three weeks before bottling, adding bright citrus and pepper notes from contact with the wood. Reposado is aged for three months, delivering a round, harmonious palate of vanilla, wood, spice, and green vegetable. Añejo is aged for one year, giving it a deep, amber color and producing a smoky, woody nose and vanilla, spice and chocolate notes on the palate.

Each barrel is personally nosed and tasted by the Master Distiller before it’s blended by Alejandro Garcia Páez and his team. Earlier this year, Añejo and Reposado were awarded gold medals and Blanco was awarded silver in the Spirits Business Tequila & Mezcal Masters.

“We see great potential for Cenote Tequila, which allows us to step into a very dynamic category, as consumers have discovered sipping-grade tequilas,” said Stoli Group Global CEO Hugues Pietrini. “With Cenote, we are looking to recruit younger, urban consumers into both the tequila category and our super premium portfolio.”

Arturo Fuentes has spent more than 35 years producing tequila and most recently in France distilling Cognac.

“After many years of producing tequila, we feel like with Cenote we finally got the tequila we’ve been looking for,” Fuentes added.

Cenote Blanco is sold in the U.S. for $35, Resposado is $40 and Añejo is $65.

With information from Stoli’s press release


Lee Steele is the founding publisher of Yucatán Expat Life, which has been publishing news and information about the peninsula since 2012.