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Terms

Agave:
A type of plant in the amaryllis family that features long, swordlike leaves.

Blue Agave:
The only type of agave that legally may be used to produce Tequila.

100 Percent Blue Agave:
A legal designation on a Tequila label indicating that only the sugars of the blue agave were used in the production of the Tequila .

Blanco:
A labeling term indicating an unaged Tequila.

Joven Abocado:
Never used on labels, this is a legal definition indicating a non-aged Tequila with coloring and flavoring added. Usually marketed and labeled as "gold" Tequila.

Reposado:
Literally "rested," this is a legal classification indicating that the Tequila has been aged in wooden barrels for at least two months.

A–ejo:
"Old," this indicates that the Tequila has been barrel-aged for at least one year.

Tequila with a Twist

The flavored Tequila segment, which includes Distinqt and T.Q. Hot, has a new, high-profile entry: M’stico from Jose Cuervo. This 80-proof citrus-flavored Tequila, introduced nationally last year, is positioned as a white spirit that can be mixed with juices and sodas, or drunk chilled and straight.

Additional new products from Cuervo will be forthcoming, according to Alan Weber of Heublein. "We are working with our Mexican business partners to come up with new products that will enable us to enhance and drive our leadership position in the super premium segment of the category," asserts Weber, who notes "a strategic gap" at the $30 to $40 price point in the Cuervo portfolio. "We are working to develop a 100 percent agave a–ejo product at that price point," says Weber. "We do not intend to allow Tequila competitors to drive the high-end business."

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