This is an early harvest Arbequina EVOO with a complex ripe floral and green aroma It exhibits the classic ripe, nutty, and buttery flavors associated with the variety along with green herbaceousness and some artichoke and green apple flavors, too. There is more pronounced bitterness and pungency than expected along with a much higher than average total polyphenol level for this variety due to this year’s growing conditions.
Suggested Uses: Grilled Eggplant "Caprese"
Certification: Kosher Certified
Location of Orchard: 39°59'32.98"N, 122°07'56.11"W
Milling: Hammer Mill
Grasslands originally for cattle in early California history gave way to rice fields in the middle of the last century. In 2009 we acquired and converted some of those rice fields into a sustainably farmed olive orchard. The oak savannah habitat that runs across and around our land is filled with deer and foxes, great horned owls and rabbits; all manner of creatures at home among the trees and so near to the mighty Sacramento River.
As you probably know, we have three different types of orchards at Lucero Olive Oil – Old World style "traditional" spacing for the trees which are over 100 years old, New World "medium" spacing, which makes better use of the land, however still requires hand harvesting, and some "high density" spacing for certain varieties which have been adapted to grow and be pruned into hedgerows. Our Arbequina is one such high density planting. Extremely hot weather during summer and early fall 2017 caused olive trees in our area to slow their production of oil which subsequently delayed harvest until later that it is typical. The result was lower than average yields however more intense flavor than in prior years. No where is this impact as pronounced as in this Arbequina orchard.
We traditionally allocate our entire Arbequina crop for use as a blending or flavoring oil, however this year's oil is so distinctive that we want to share it with you as a single variety. We selected the top 3% greenest and tastiest lots from this year's harvest and we're bottling this limited amount. When you taste it, you'll see that not all California Arbequina olive oils are the same!
We bottled an early harvest oil from the first day of the Arbequina harvest which has a complex ripe floral and green aroma, exhibiting the classic ripe, nutty, and buttery flavors associated with this variety along with green herbaceousness and some artichoke and green apple flavors , too.
There is more pronounced bitterness and pungency than expected along with a significantly higher than average total polyphenol level for this variety due to this year's growing conditions, making it a delicious and "high performance" Arbequina which we're proud to present.
Note on phenol levels: our local agricultural laboratory reports that historically, California Arbequina olive oils test between 160 and 190 mg/kg in total polyphenols. In 2016 our lab reported 242 mg/kg, and this crop is a stunning 329 mg/kg total polyphenols! This level of nutrition is what contributes to the more intense and complex green flavors present in this year's crop.
As with all Lucero EVOOs, this oil is verified extra virgin by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Extra Virgin Alliance; it is certified kosher and parve by Kof-K, and earlier this week we were advised that our entry earned a Gold Medal at the California State Fair.