Fresh Off the Press: Our Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Our harvest and milling crews are working day and night picking olives and crushing them into extra virgin olive oil. Soon, a select batch of that oil will be used to make a special oil: our Limited Reserve extra virgin olive oil.
We’ll begin bottling our Limited Reserve later this month. (To be notified of its availability, click here to join our VIP Mailing List.)

Limited Reserve is the freshest oil we produce. The oil goes straight from the press into the bottle, without spending any time in a tank where fruit particles are allowed to settle and be removed. We bottle Limited Reserve just once a year, during the fall harvest. (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.)

Like fall, this oil is fleeting. Its eight-month shelf life is less than half that of our other oils, because the leftover fruit particles in these bottles ultimately ferment.

When you put a spoonful of Limited Reserve in your mouth, you experience a peppery, fruity, pleasantly bitter burst of fresh olive oil taste. You may find that this year’s Limited Reserve delivers an even more robust flavor profile, given the overall quality of our 2011 olive crop.

Limited Reserve goes well with any number of hearty autumn vegetables. We like it drizzled over roasted Brussels sprouts, sautéed broccoli, and grilled fennel. It’s also great drizzled on butternut squash soup right before serving.

Here’s a look at how we make our Limited Reserve, and what makes it special:

MILLING 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.

SELECTION PROCESS: After he’s tasted all the oil, Bob selects several of the best oils and brings them to our offices. Our management team then conducts a blind tasting test, with everyone tasting and grading each sample. We swirl, sniff, slurp, and swallow the oil, analyzing the aroma and flavor profile.  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: Great drizzled over roasted and grilled vegetables. Also good drizzled on bruschetta, white pizza, or tossed with pasta and garlic. Perfect for dipping crusty bread accompanied by a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Try drizzled over poached eggs. Let your imagination run wild!

Bon appétit,

Your friends at California Olive Ranch

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