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Feb 26, 2012 06:11 PM

Ensenada Olive Oil

If you get the newsletter from The Linkery you probably read that Jay imported a barrel of single orchard olive oil from Ensenada and bottled it. A few weeks ago I stopped by and purchased a bottle. Yes, it's pricey at $30 for 400 ml (about a pint), but, lordy, this stuff is divine.

The flavor is fabulous...smooth, suave, lush, full and round in the mouth, intensely olive-y, beautiful peppery finish, it is absolutely delightful and definitely worth the price.

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  1. I've heard identical praise from another trusted source about this bottling. Why buy o.o. from Italy or Spain when there are high quality local and near-local products available? I've been buying mine for years from boutique wineries in Napa who bottle super small quantities for their mailing list customers. Price is usually the same as Jay's. Olive oil doesn't improve with age. Might as well go local.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mcgrath

      Wonder if I can get on that boutique olive oil list in Napa?

      1. re: acestlevy

        The Olive Press in Sonoma is a great source of many excellent EVOO varieties. I've bought from them many times. They sell items from their website:

      1. re: Stiflers_Mom

        That's it :-)

        A couple weeks before I picked up this stuff I also got a bottle of Baja olive oil bottled by Santo Tomas winery. I thought it was pretty good too, but not nearly as intensely flavorful as Jay's product, which basically blew the Santo Tomas stuff out of the water.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          $30 isn't bad if the Olive oil is like you stated and I'm sure it is..can't wait to get a bottle!
          Love the typeset of the label...
          Is this the first press of the olive?

          1. re: Beach Chick

            I'm not sure if it's a first press, but given the intensity of the flavor and clairty of the oil, I suspect it is.

            And like a good lithograph, the bottles are numbered. Mine was #5, rather like Chanel, no ;-)

            1. re: DiningDiva

              Love that the bottles are numbered..
              Hopefully, Jay will chime in..

              1. re: Beach Chick

                Try California Olive Ranch. They have a wonderful selection that is very well reputed. If you get on their special list, you get the first dibs on their limited press in October. I buy a bunch and use for us and for special gifts. You can buy their oils at Albertsons and other stores but the special extra virgin is online only.


                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Since you asked...

                  Pretty much everyone in the wine/culinary world in this area uses local oil year-around; most people use oil from the same press, used to press olives from many different orchards. (Sometimes people use olives from their own orchards, sometimes they pick a favorite orchard or make their own blends.) Because both the press and the olives are excellent and honest, everyone knows the product is going to be excellent -- and of course being a wine region local olive oil is abundant.

                  Olives are pressed from roughly October through March. The oil is stored in containers in a cool building with no exposure to light or oxygen.

                  The oils do change character over time. Some of them need as long as six to nine months to achieve a balance that makes them ideal. Others are best shortly after pressing. At any given time it's possible to taste all the extant pressings and determine which are the best oils available right now. The goal is not to win awards but to continue to have great olive oil on hand for cooking and eating, and to continue to experience the wine country we live in/near.

                  There was no harvest in 2011-2012; the next harvest will start in about six months. The change that we'll taste, from the mature, mellow late-harvest oils we'll be enjoying in summer, to the powerful early harvest oils that will be ready in fall will be part of the joy of getting in the rhythm of our landscape.

                    1. re: jayporter

                      Meant to post a while ago. Purchased this oil from jay and was very impressed. Used it as a finishing oil in many dishes, ran out a few months ago, and wished I had purchased two bottles! Give it a try, well worth the money.

          2. Big fan of olive oil here. This sounds very tempting. Should I be at all concerned that the oil was originally pressed more than a year ago -- in November 2010? Does being in a barrel since then keep it from oxidizing and going rancid?

            4 Replies
            1. re: bizzwriter

              You should purchase OO within a month of it's pressing to be at it's best. if stored properly, it will not go rancid but, it will deteriorate in flavor i.e. it will loose it's pepperyness, fruitness etc. For special EVOO such as this, I would not buy it if it was pressed and vintaged in Nov of 10. I do get EVOO from a friend in Italy who owns an olive grove, he presses in late Nov-early Dec each year, I get delivery within 2 weeks.

              1. re: cstr

                I want EVO from Italy they have a website?
                ; )

                1. re: Beach Chick

                  Yes, it's unfiltered, comes in 500ml bottles, Franco grows, presses and bottles his own. It's not cheap, like 6 bottle minimum at $70.+/- per bottle plus shipping, but worth every drop. I'll take a pic of the label, get the website and post back. Won't be able to get it till next Dec as he sells out in advance of pressing every year.

            2. You can probably drive down there and buy a large bottle for $10-$12. Make a weekend of it and visit the wineries and maybe do some deep sea fishing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: oerdin

                Yep...the bottle of olive oil from Santo Tomas that was purchased in Baja cost $28

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  Trader Joe's California Estate Olive Oil $5.99 for a good sized bottle.
                  More than good enough for my taste.

              2. Which e.v.o does Rick Bayless like best? Is it Precious or Tomas?