Getting a scent of a just-poured sample, I knew instantly why Elia Pellegrino set aside many acres on his family farm in Puglia to grow organic olives for this extra virgin olive oil.
Although his non-organic oil, La Spineta, is robust, his Petraia oil has a big, intense aroma that simply astounds. It has an outrageous aroma of freshly cut grass and wild herbs. Its flavor is big, fruity, full and wild. Its finish is persistent, with lots of rambunctious pepperiness that characterizes good Pugliese oils.
This is consistently the boldest oil from our offerings, knocking the Tuscan pressings out of the "rustic and fruity" category they normally dominate.
The latest harvest, from fall 2011, is less assertive than in years past. It smells like dried grass and black olive, and has a wonderfully creamy texture. The flavor is a little bitter, a little sweet, and builds to a peppery finish that, while mellower than last year's harvest, is still enough to tickle your throat.