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This Extra Virgin Olive Oil is from the 2017 harvest of the Villa Montalbano Estate in Tuscany. Hand picked in mid December, this velvety smooth, unfiltered, single estate olive oil is seriously fresh. Its smell reminds me of the olives that grow on the Estate that were pressed to make it. Its bitterness and pepper are in perfect balance, it is at the top of its game. It is first class.
How is it best used?
If you have never had the pleasure to try a really fresh oil this is your chance. Its taste will be excitingly concentrated, and with enough pepper to thrill even the most boring salad into action! Being so freshly pressed, the fibre of the olives are still freely circulating in it from the milling process, so its texture is velvety and wholesome with a colour of vivid green. Please be aware that this natural fibre will settle after time and can then be used for adding a little extra flavour into your cooking. A simple drizzle of this oil on a strong green leafed salad, with possibly a little cracked salt over the top, and you will have released a little magic. Pair with our stronger flavoured fruit vinegars, such Bramble Vinegar, Raspberry Vinegar or our Tayberry Vinegar for a refined and delicious dressing. Please be aware that stocks of this early oil are limited so it's first come first served!
How is this made?
Villa Montalbano is a privately owned Single Estate near Pistoia, roughly midway between Pisa and Florence, in the northern part of the Chianti region. Three ‘cultivars’ of olive are grown on the estate, Lecco, Frantoio and Murioli; the ratio of these varieties gives their oil its distinctive flavour and colour. The trees are hand pruned in the spring and the oil harvested in late October through to late December. The olives are hand picked with the help of local families, who are repaid generously with up to half of the picked crop. The oil is then taken to be milled that same day to prevent any degradation, at the local 'Frantoio' co-operative mill. The olives are pressed mechanically ensuring the Extra Virgin status of the oil is preserved. The required maximum acidity for Extra Virgin Oil is 0.8% but Villa Montalbano regularly produces an oil under 0.4%.