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Green Gold: The 2015 Olive Oils

10th November, 2015

Green Gold: The 2015 Olive Oils

The conditions of 2014 laid the foundations for a successful growing season in 2015 in more ways than one. Firstly, the rain of last year ensured there were good water levels in the soil at the start of 2015, so the olive trees were able to draw upon these reserves to ensure their continued vitality during the season.  

Secondly, the flies that caused so much damage last year were subject to much greater scrutiny this year which, along with more benign growing conditions, ensured their affect was negligent this year.  

The major problem in 2015 was the weather during the flowering of the Moraiolo variety. There were plenty of buds but the poor weather at the beginning of May meant few of them set, so yields for Moraiolo were poor. As a result, estates like Capezzana, which rely heavily on Moraiolo, have seen their production fall dramatically. The Frantoio (or Coreggiolo) variety had no such problems, so crops were very healthy at estates like Selvapiana.    

The harvest at many estates – Selvapiana, I Canonici, Fontodi, Capezzana – started on 19 October, the earliest date on record.  

Despite the very hot weather in July, the water in the soil ensured the plants remained healthy, so the oils this year are green, fresh and nicely balanced.    

2015 Olive Oils  

While crops were up on 2014, they were still down by about 15% on a normal year. This shortfall is partly down to hail, which damaged some trees. Quality, however, is excellent.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Stelvin 6 x 75cl) - Available Mid December  

This estate is featured in the hills outside Cerreto Guidi, in a warmer climate than that found in Chianti or Rufina. Here, the olive trees did suffer a degree of stress during the dry, hot summer, something which in turn reduced the crop. However, from soils with better water retention they got decent crops of healthy olives, and the resulting oil is rich in polyphenols and low in peroxides.    

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Stelvin 6 x 50cl) - Available End December  

A good year for oil thanks to the benign growing conditions which ensured very few, if any, treatments required this year. Made solely from the Taggiasca variety near the French border, this is a classic Ligurian oil, soft and fruity and ideal with fish.  

`Fumei` Ligurian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 50cl) - Available January 2016  

FONTODI - Tuscany
Normally a blend of 80% Corregiolo and 20% Moraiolo, Fontodi is 90% Corregiolo this year due to the poor crops from Moraiolo. Giovanni picks and crushes the two varieties separately and then blends prior to filtering and bottling in order to obtain what he feels is a better balanced oil. The 2015 is bright green in colour, clean and vibrant on the nose and spicy and peppery on the palate. It is outstanding.  

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 50cl) - Available Mid December  

Large crops of healthy olives are the norm at Selvapiana this year. The water reserves from last year’s rain and snow during the winter has stood the trees in good stead, and resulted in olives that are fully sized. This is most unusual, especially given the hot July, where temperatures reached 36 degrees, a rarity at this northerly property.  

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 50cl) - In Stock

This property’s position, on the slopes of Monte Morello north of Florence, ensured that the Moraiolo was less affected by the inclement weather. They harvested later than I Canonici and Selvapiana, and have produced a clean, spicy oil that is very well balanced.  

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 75cl) - In Stock

I CANONICI - Tuscany
The olives for this oil are grown on Giovanni Manetti’s mother’s property in Tavarnelle, to the west of Fontodi in the clay soils of the Val d’Elsa. Normally made from 80% Moraiolo and 20% Corregiolo, this year it is a blend of 60% Moraiolo and 40% Corregiolo. It is fresh and green with a bit of pepper but nice roundness on the palate. As usual, it is wonderfully balanced and will, as in past years, retain its freshness for over 12 months.  

River Café Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 75cl) - In Stock

Giuseppe Mazzocolino of Felsina has been at the forefront of varietal and ‘denocciolato’ (made without the pip or stone) oils. The oils have a purity and balance seldom achieved in the southern part of Chianti. In 2015, the Leccino is particularly good, but Moraiolo has suffered here as elsewhere.  

River Café Raggiolo Classico Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 75cl) - Available Mid December
River Café Raggiolo Denocciolato Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 75cl) - Available Mid December

PETROLO - Tuscany
Crops are down by about 40% on average. The colour is excellent, perfumes clean and lifted and the palate soft and round. “It lacks a bit of spice but has excellent balance,” says Luca Sanjust.  

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Oil Pourer 6 x 75cl) - In Stock

The blend this year is 50% Frantoio, 20% Pendolino, 20% Moraiolo and 10% Leccino.   The poor weather during the flowering of Moraiolo has transformed this from an oil that is predominantly Moraiolo, and therefore softer and rounder, to one that is made primarily from Frantoio. As a result, it is fresh, sinewy and vibrant with lovely delicacy and the trademark spice on the finish. Volumes, however, are down by 50% on an average year.  

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (6 x 75cl) - In Stock

LE FERRE - Puglia
A superb spring and summer provided the olive trees with perfect conditions this year. Both quality and quantity are excellent. Dry weather since the beginning of November has ensured ideal conditions for the harvest, so everything seems set for a good year. Prices will be decided at the end of November.  

Coratina Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Stelvin 12 x 75cl) - Available Mid December

There are 2,700 olives trees planted at Isole e Olena. The blend this year is 40% Moraiolo, 45% Frantoio, 10% Pendolino and 5% Leccino. The oil this year is bright green in colour with lovely freshness and vibrancy and a touch of spice on the finish.  

River Café Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Stelvin 12 x 50cl) - Availability Mid December

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