If you like your extra virgin olive oil fruity and grassy with a slap of pepper in the finish, then Castello di Cacchiano is for you. This is the oil you should reach for when you want a full-flavored oil with an awesome kick.
It's made from a blend of Correggiolo, Moraiolo, Leccino, Pendolino and other typically Tuscan olives, hand picked from the 4,700 or so trees that dot the terraced hills around the castle at the center of the property. The total output per year is about 4,000 liters. That's less than one liter per tree. This is special oil.
Made in the Chianti Classico region according to the strict D.O.P. (Protected Designation of Origin) rules of that area. Zingerman's is the exclusive source of this oil in the United States.
The current bottling, from fall 2013, is powerful. It smells incredibly grassy - one of my colleagues described it as smelling like "lawn mowers in the suburbs on a Sunday." The flavor has a strong bold bitterness and a big grassy flavor with notes of unripe walnut and green banana that breaks across your tongue with a wave of pepperiness, leaving it tingling for minutes afterwards.
Zingerman's Food Tours is visiting Tuscany in October 2014. Join us for a behind the scenes journey to traditional food makers like this.