California Gold: Three Small-Production Olive Oils to Make Your Mouth Water
As questions swirl about the authenticity of imported olive oil, the quality of California oils keeps rising. Now three distinguished new purveyors are releasing bottles from the abundant 2015 harvest. All are cold-pressed extra-virgin oils, packaged in protective dark 375 mL glass bottles. And all are best enjoyed soon, while they possess their peak, peppery zing.
Marianello: In addition to grape vines, the Marianello estate in the Santa Ynez Valley cultivates 1,526 Lucca olive trees, one of the country’s only all-Lucca groves, producing a lush oil with the characteristic artichoke aroma and black-pepper flavor. ($20, marianellowines.com)
Baker Lane Occidental Blend: Winemaker Stephen Singer bottles olive oil from the Barnea, Frantoio, Leccino, Moraiolo, and Taggiasca varieties that grow near his Sonoma Coast property, but the result exhibits the peppery ripeness of a Tuscan blend. ($20, bakerlanevineyards.com)
Cobram Estate California Select: The Australian producer makes its California debut with this oil made from a proprietary blend of olives grown in Yolo County. Herbaceous and grassy, yet rich—and a terrific value. (about $12, cobramestate.com)