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Exceptionally fresh, single estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil is very hard to come by. The good news is that you have found some! This first class Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a January 2018 pressing from the Monterosa Estate located in the Eastern Algarve of Portugal. It is a blend made up from their 4 local varieties of olives grown on the Estate, Maçanilha, Cobrançosa, Verdeal and Picual. Each olive adds their own unique flavour to the oil. The result is a medium to strong tasting oil, with a beautiful grassy freshness, gentle bitterness and an excitement of pepper to finish.
How is it best used?
Montersa Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil has proved to be intense in flavour and this latest Janaury harvest is no exception. We would recommend that a strong olive oil is paired with other strong flavoured foods, whether it be fresh green salads with rocket and watercress or cured meats. Our stronger flavoured fruit and balsamic vinegars, such as our Damson Vinegar, Tayberry Vinegar, Bramble Vinegar or Blackcurrant Vinegar would compliment this oil well. Try also dressing seafood such as Octopus and Sardines after cooking, delicious. Crack a small amount of salt over your dish to fully bring out the flavour of the olive oil.
How is this made?
In April 2015 Frances and I visited the Eastern Algarve with a view to understanding better the well known Portuguese art of growing olives and producing some very fine olive oil. We had the fortune to visit the Monterosa Estate in person and meet with Antonio Duarte, who helps manage the Estate. The weather that day was particularly Scottish, with unseasonal wind and heavy rain. Antonio's passion for his Estate and knowledge of olive oil production seemed to know no bounds, and he even claimed to enjoy the rain as the olives were liking it! Traditionally within Portugal the Algarve, which lies to the South of the Country, is not actually best known for its production of olive oil. However, as we found out, times are changing fast and our discovery of the beautifully maintained Monterosa Estate in the Eastern Algarve near Moncarapacho is evidence that first class olive oil has arrived in the South of Portugal.
The Monterosa Estate is family run and has about 20 acres of olive groves which were planted in 2000. It is therefore young in comparison with many other Estates in the North of the Country. Four local varieties of olive were planted, Maçanilha, Cobrançosa, Verdeal and Picual of which all produce interesting and complex tasting olive oils. When ripe, the Monterosa olives are carefully picked by hand and pressed the same day in the Estates own historical granite stone mill which dates back to Roman times. The care and attention to detail in the olive oil extraction and bottling is impressive, and if any proof were needed of this, the extreme quality of the olive oil that has been produced is it. We can recommend the Algarve of Portuagalas as a place to visit in early Spring, full of friendly people and some very beautiful scenery in the hills.