From a small estate in the Yellingbo Conservation Nature Reserve in Australia, the Meltzer family has created a wonderful addition to our extra virgin olive oil collection—a blend of olive varieties picked and pressed just for us, more on the robust side than their usual offering.
Yellingbo oil is made in very small quantities. The Meltzers only have 2,500 trees, and they’re not really interested in getting a whole lot bigger. Year before last they produced about 3,000 liters of oil . . . a very small amount compared with most of what’s being produced by others (though, to be fair, most of the oils we carry are made in similarly small quantities).
They have their own press on the farm—a rarity for oil makers—and the olives are turned into oil less than six hours after they're picked to protect their quality. That's another rarity, since twenty-four hours is considered to be very good.
Because the Meltzers press each of their varietals of olives separately and then mix them, they were able to do a special blend for us of Manzanillo, Leccino, Picual and Corregiola olives. That means the Yellingbo bottle from us is going to taste a bit different than what you'd buy anywhere else.
The latest harvest, bottled unfiltered, was pressed in summer 2011 (since it's from the southern hemisphere, it's made in our summer, not fall). It has aromas of sun-ripened tomato and sweet apple, with a smoky undertone. The flavor is smooth, woodsy, almost nutty. This year's harvest has only very mild pepper on the finish.
Interesting aside: the Helmeted Honeyeater that graces the label is endangered but feels at home gliding through the Meltzers' orchards.
". . . apple and wood aromas, with hints of almond on the palate and a peppery kick."
Camas Davis, Saveur