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Provençal olive oil

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  • Melanie Wong Apr 22, 2001 03:16 AM
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During last month’s whirlwind tour of the Rhone Valley, we slid in a half hour before closing to the tasting room at Vieux Telegraphe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape unannounced. Yet I was fortunate to find Daniel Brunier, whose family owns the property, still around and renewed our acquaintance. Even luckier, he had pulled barrel samples of various lots from the 2000 vintage to evaluate that day. We had the chance to power taste them and share our impressions with him.

Because it is not difficult to purchase Vieux Telegraphe wines at home, my souvenir of this visit was a bottle of the olive oil his sister produces from an old grove a bit further south. My first taste test was to use some to dress a simple salad of spring greens to accompany a now fully ripened St. Marcellin also carried home. The olive oil is more yellow than green, very thick, and being unfiltered , it is hazy with some sediment. Very fruity, not at all peppery, I can almost pick out wild thyme among the herbal aromas. Buttery and richly flavored, this is will be a special condiment on the table.

The label reads:

CASTELAS
Huile d’Olive
De la Vallée des
Baux de Provence
Appellation Huile d’Olive de La Valée des
Baux de Provence Contrôlée
Vierge Extra
Premiere Pression à Froid
Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée
C & J.B Hugues
St. Remy de Provence
Product of France
50 cl

Priced at about 80FF. Made from four varieties of olives: Salonenque, Beruguette, Grossane et Verdale.

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  1. a
    Alexandra Eisler

    but what about the cheese...?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Alexandra Eisler

      The St. Marcellin was ripe and pungent, having grown some blue-gray mold on the outside from its stay in the wine cellar. Most of the ones we get here are from cow's milk alone, but this was traditional style from a mix of milks. The taste of the south of France . . .

      I'll mention that the Vacherin that I brought to Kermit Lynch/Cafe Fanny/Acme Break parking lot Oyster Bliss X was past prime. Sorry that you and brother Rob missed the party. I still haven't hit a fully ripened liquidy Mont d'Or yet - either too young or too old. Yet, there was still enjoyment here. When I popped the lid off the oozing mass to offer the first taste to the uninitiated, my friend Julie exclaimed that it tasted like hot sex! We consumed copious quantities of good bread, oysters (they sold 10,000!) and lots of good wine. LaSalle champagne and a Mondeuse from the Savoie area (near where Vacherin comes from) were my favorites of the day.

      1. re: Melanie Wong
        a
        Alexandra Eisler

        "When I popped the lid off the oozing mass to offer the first taste to the uninitiated, my friend Julie exclaimed that it tasted like hot sex!"

        That has to be the best cheese quote I've ever heard!

        Next time, I hope the KL oyster fest offers a satellite parking lot with shuttles...

    2. How did you get the cheese through customs. You not allowed to nor anything with roots. My favorite olive oil is from the coop in Maussane.....mimi

      1 Reply
      1. re: mimi taylor

        The rule is that unpasteurized cheeses under 60 days old may not be imported to the US.

        Not just things with roots are prohibited. Nearly all fresh and/or uncooked foods are forbidden.

        In which area is Maussane?