6 Exceptional Olive Oils
Published: April 2009
By Francine Maroukian
Like your favorite wine, olive oil should taste of the place where it was grown and harvested. Here, six superlative bottles (tasted and approved by T+L editors) that help you bring far-flung flavors home.
MCEVOY RANCH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Region West of Petaluma, in Marin County, California.
Backstory Certified-organic oil made in the Tuscan style from Italian olive varieties like Frantoio and Pendolina.
Tasting Notes Intensely green, with fruity-apple flavor and a light pepper finish.
12.7 fluid oz. $20, 25.3 fluid oz. $38, www.mcevoyranch.com
MORGENSTER STELLENBOSCH EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Region From the historic Morgenster Estate, Somerset West, South Africa.
Backstory A blend of Frantoio, Leccino, Coratina, and Favoloza olives, this is the first South African olive oil to receive the prestigious Italian award L’Orciolo d’Oro.
Tasting Notes Grassy, round and fresh-tasting, with a soft pepper tickle.
16.9 fluid oz. $25.95, www.cybercucina.com
DANDARAGAN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Region Grown in the heart of Western Australia’s Moore River region.
Backstory Olives such as Corregiolo and Manzanillo are cold-pressed within eight hours of harvest and estate-bottled in several master blends.
Tasting Notes The aromatic Chef’s Choice bottling is robust and nutty, with tomatoey undertones.
16.9 fluid oz. $30, www.artisanspecialty.com
SEñORíO DE VIZCáNTAR (D.O.) EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Region Priego de Córdoba, in the Sierras Sabbéticas mountains, north of Málaga, in Spain.
Backstory A mix of classic Spanish olives like Picual, Picudo, and Hojiblanca.
Tasting Notes Deep golden hue, with a rich, tangy flavor and a slightly sweet aroma that brings vacations in Spain to mind.
84.5 fluid oz. $44 (also in a 25 fluid oz. bottle, $18.50, www.tienda.com
ERIC MARTIN EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Region From the tiny village of Tourtour, in the far north of Provence.
Backstory Made from a blend of seven olives, including Picholine and Caillet Roux, this oil is unfiltered and, in true Provençal style, looks slightly cloudy.
Tasting Notes Like Catherine Deneuve: silky, subtle, quintessentially French. An herbal character enhances its distinctive but gentle flavor.
33.8 fluid oz. $49, www.zingermans.com
MANNI ’PER ME’ EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
Region The slopes of Monte Amiata, in the southern Tuscan town of Seggiano.
Backstory The principal olive in this oil is the rare Olivastra Seggianese, organically grown and hand-harvested.
Tasting Notes Velvety and complexly fruity with—wait for it—a late-arriving twitch of pungent pepper, a Tuscan trademark.
Two 3.4 fluid oz. bottles $58, www.buymanni.com