I have to thank Johnny Ginn for providing me with his pictures of this interesting Brand from Tamaulipas. In fact Johnny sent me a bottle of this reposado and the añejo represented on the following page. The default picture shown above is the standard bottle of La Picota Añejo. Click on the "Edición Especial" link, above, left to see a special edition, artisan bottle, covered in tooled leather from Johnny's collection.
La Picota of Tamaulipas is an agave based spirit brand. The labels proudly state, "100% Destilado de Agave" but do not explain which agave species is used for producing this tequila-like spirit. The back label, however, may provide a clue.
From the back label (En Esapñol):
La Picota, gran bebida 100% de agave nace en las agrestés y fértiles tierras tamulipecas, de olor suave, y fino sabor al paladar, es gota a gota la mejor.
Basically this is stating that this great drink is born of the wild and fertile earth of Tamaulipas which gives it a smooth nose and fine flavor that to the palate is the best "drop to drop".
This may imply that wild agave is used for producing La Picota but that's speculation on my part. Johnny Ginn has been in direct contact with the people at the Montaña Sol y Cactus company so maybe he can elaborate on their process in the future. Johnny lives and works in Brownsville, Texas and travels throughout Tamaulipas quite often. He has offered to be the eyes and ears for PocoTequila in Tamaulipas by passing along his knowledge and observations about agave based spirits in the region. Many may know that Tamaulipas is home to one renowned Tequila producer, Chinaco. Yes, Tamaulipas is one of the 5 Mexican States designated for the production of tequila but this privilege is only extended to a few municipalities so being able to legally label agave based spirits as "tequila" in Tamaulipas is still only done by Chinaco and (I've heard rumors) maybe one or two more companies. However, as in most regions of Mexico there are other companies producing, with similar methods, what would be the equivalent of tequila. It's just that they are not producing within, or using blue agave grown in, the legally designated regions of Mexico. This is the case with La Picota de Tamaulipas. While they are not able to call their product "tequila" it is obviously a cousin of the spirit and in fact, a phrase is emblazoned on the front label of the La Picota Añejo that reads, "100% Destilado de Agave, Como los Mejores Tequilas". The company wants you to know that "La Picota was distilled using 100% agave, like the best Tequilas".
I had a somewhat challenging time finding the meaning of the name "La Picota". Apparently it means "pillory" or whipping post. The English word "pillory" or Medieval Latin, pilloria is probably derived from the Latin word, pila or pillar. A pillory (stocks) was used in many cultures for punishments, usually in public places where the captive could be seen by many. In Mexico it seems La Picota is a name for this type of pillar used in the Mayan culture. "La Picota" is observed and named as landmarks in Mayan archeological sites like Uxmal and Palenque. As a result at least one river has been named "La Picota". I'm not sure about the connection with the spirit brand in Tamaulipas. Maybe there is a landmark with this name. The logo on the labels of La Picota agave distillate is a Chaparral (Road Runner) and Agave which is likely representative of the wild, desert areas of Tamaulipas.