It will be within the next few weeks! If you want to be the first to know, click here to be notified when the oil is available to order.
When we first started bottling this stuff we called it Olio Nuovo (an Italian term) to reflect that it’s the first “new oil” we press each year. It’s sold during, and a short time after, the olive harvest.
The oil makes its debut this year as Limited Reserve.
The main reason: Not everyone speaks Italian (neither do we, for that matter). As much as we liked the name Olio Nuovo, it was clear from what people told us the name wasn’t readily understood. Besides, the oil is from California, not Italy, and we’re proud of it!
After mulling and debating several options, we settled on “Limited Reserve.” The name reflects the oil’s limited production, shorter shelf life (eight months versus two to three years for most other oils), and fleeting availability.
What makes this oil so special?
TASTE: When you put a spoonful of Limited Reserve in your mouth, you experience a peppery, fruity, pleasantly bitter burst of fresh olive oil taste.
AVAILABILITY: The California Olive Ranch team bottles Limited Reserve just once a year. It doesn’t even make it to store shelves because it’s made to order.
USE BY DATE: You must open and consume this oil much sooner. Its eight-month shelf life is less than half that of our other oils. That’s because we don’t put Limited Reserve into tanks at our two mills for a few months to allow the fruit particles and other sediment to settle. Those fruit particles eventually ferment.
MILLING AND SELECTION PROCESS: To craft Limited Reserve each fall, we harvest our olives and then quickly press them to preserve their freshness. We process the resulting olive paste in a centrifuge to separate the oil from the water and sediment. Bob Singletary, our veteran miller, personally tastes each batch of oil as it flows from the centrifuge spout. After he’s tasted all the oil, Bob selects 20 to 30 of the best and brings them to headquarters. Our management team then conducts a blind tasting test, with everyone tasting and grading each sample. We analyze the aroma and pungency. We talk. And then we settle on the particular oil that becomes Limited Reserve.
BOTTLING: Right after we select the oil our milling team fires up the bottling line and starts bottling Limited Reserve. It’s November. By contrast, we typically start bottling our other oils the following February.
FLAVOR PROFILE: Limited Reserve’s flavor profile combines a strong and fruity aroma; the oil is smooth and buttery on the tongue; and it delivers a nice peppery finish.
COLOR: Very dark green. When you hold the bottle up you can see the sediment that’s escaped the centrifuge.
OTHER NOTABLE POINT: Our Limited Reserve differs from similar oils shipped from Europe. Ours hasn’t been sitting on a boat for four to six weeks.
USES: I particularly like Limited Reserve on salads because the flavor just explodes. It’s also great drizzled over bruschetta, white pizza, roasted vegetables – or tossed with pasta. And, of course, it’s great for dipping crusty bread. We’ve also drizzled it over poached eggs. The possibilities are limitless.
Claude S. Weiller
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
California Olive Ranch