Mother Nature was good to our olives during the 2012 growing season. Fine weather here in northern California delivered a flavorful batch of new oils, which we’re now bottling. I taste our oils (a lot!) during the milling and blending process. Below are tasting notes I’ve put together for you about our three specialty oils made from last fall’s olive harvest.
Before starting, it’s worth remembering that olive oil is much like wine in key ways. Like Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, which are named for their grape varietals, our Arbequina and Arbosana extra virgin olive oils are named for the olives we crush to make the oils.
Arbequina: Now is the time of the year when the true quality and flavor of our Arbequina can be fully understood. And this season’s fruit is nothing less than excellent. The harvest season was a complete success and the farm operations team did an incredible job of getting the freshest fruit possible to the mill. Our Arbequina from the 2012 harvest is very complex with a medium nose, medium floral and fruit profile on the tongue, followed by a slight hint of picante at the finish.
Arbosana: This oil is so special with its grassy, herbaceous and green fruit flavor profile. Early on it can carry a stringent flavor profile; but that smooths out as the season progresses. It’s worth stressing the importance of selecting just the right time to harvest the Arbosana olive. Good timing is critical to having a well balanced oil. If you’re too early, the flavors are green and harsh and take time to settle out. That being said, the 2012 Arbosana is one of our more distinctive oils, and you’ll be sure to enjoy it.
Miller’s Blend: This, of course, is my all-time favorite. Our taste panel selects the perfect combination of Arbequina, Arbosana, and Koroneiki olives to make this very complex flavor profile. It’s the best selection of all three varieties – combined with the exact date the olives were harvested – that make this an excellent oil. It has all the attributes of each of the three olives. And, given the percentage mix of each olive, Miller’s Blend has it all when it comes to taste: fruity, ripe green olive, floral, grassy – with slight pepper at the finish. Please take it from me: This is truly excellent oil!