This is a unique, unfiltered extra virgin organic oil from the rarely visited Sierra de Gredos, the wild, sparsely settled mountain region of Spain not far from the Portuguese border. The oil is made by Mariano Sanz Pech, whose passion for traditional Spanish foods is (in my experience) unequalled.
No pressing is used in the production, so yields are half the commercial norm. Mariano bottles only the “flower of the oil”: that which drips naturally from the crushed olives. As always, it’s unfiltered, leaving it lusciously cloudy in the bottle, my favorite kind of oil. Great on salads, with grilled meats of all sorts or on bean dishes. Better yet, just pour it on a nice thick slice of toasted Farm Bread, sprinkle on a pinch of sea salt and add a couple slices of ripe tomatoes and enjoy the fruits of Mariano's labor.
The current harvest, picked and pressed in fall 2012, has an electric yellow color and a healthy helping of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. The aroma reminds me of hay and bitter greens. The flavor has a robust bitterness that builds to a sharp peppery prick at the back of the throat.