Lake Garda is the northernmost point on the Italian map where you can make olive oil. Although the area is in the foothills of the Alps, the microclimate around the lake allows olive trees to thrive and bear fruit. Known to aficionados in Italy for its uniquely delicate, yet wonderfully flavorful, extra virgin olive oil, Garda oil is rarely seen outside the area. Only a handful of producers make it, and most make very little.
Antonio Brescia is one of those committed producers. He makes around 2,000 bottles a year and sells them quickly. Although it doesn't say it on the bottle, Sr. Brescia's oil is organic. There’s no mark on the label "because everyone who knows me already knows it's organic."
Sr. Brescia's oil is unique in that it combines very delicate flavors with enormous complexity. It's pressed early in the autumn, when the flavor of the oil is at its most interesting. Most producers are reluctant to press so soon, since yields are still very small. It’s an almost angelic oil, delicate yet wonderfully rich. Because it’s so light, I Lecci is at its best on fish, salads or steamed fresh vegetables.
Most of the 2012 harvest oils we've tasted have been more assertive than in years past, and the I Lecci is no exception. The 2012 harvest has the creamy mouthfeel and mildly bitter grassy flavor we'd expect alongside a pleasant peppery tingle on the finish.