Altanza, "Virgen Extra Aceite de Oliva" Olive Oil (500ml)
Arbequina Olives｜Rioja, Spain
If you’re reading this, then no doubt quality matters with regard to what you put in your body. You eat organic, shop small business, sip artisanal fair-trade coffee in the morning and, of course, drink organic small-batch wine whenever you can.
Why, then, are you still putting cheap, most-likely-fake, industrial olive oil in your food? According to a 60 Minutes exposé, up to 80% of store-bought oils can be fake. Many are cheap sunflower or canola oil adulterated with chlorophyll or beta-carotene to smell like the real deal, and have been sitting on a hot, fluorescent-lit grocery store shelf for months. Make the jump to the real deal and I promise you’ll never go back.
Altanza’s extra virgen olio comes from their organically-farmed ecológica “Finca Valvarés” estate in Rioja, world famous not only for its wine but also for its olive oils. The “Aceite de La Rioja” denominación protects and delimits how olive oil is grown, produced, and bottled from this heralded corner of northwest Spain.
Altanza’s olio hails from 100% Arbequina olives, noted for their especially spicy character, similar to a Tuscan olio. Notes of sweet grass, tarragon, green tea, a hint of peachy stone fruit, and spring flowers round out the profile on the nose.
A full, round palate profile with white peach, artichoke, and summer grass. On the finish you’ll notice a lovely spicy kick of white pepper like its Italian counterparts. In fact, tasted blind I was absolutely convinced it was a Tuscan olio. It’s chock full of the healthful phenols that make it so robust and characterful, and with such a lovely combo of fruit, body, and Arbequina spice this is one of the finest “finishing” olios I’ve had, and the absolute best Spanish olio I’ve had, hands-down. One taste of a true high-quality, single-origin olio and you’ll never be able to go back to the mass-market fugazi stuff.
This 500ml bottling is for drizzling over grilled veggies, a pan-seared steak, or for salad dressings – not for cooking where the delicate flavors would be broken down by heat. A true “finishing” olio that’s great now and for another 12 months in bottle, so add one or six to your case, and give as a thoughtful non-alcoholic gift to friends, coworkers, and family!
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