This is a unique extra virgin olive oil that’s got one of the most dedicated followings I’ve ever witnessed. We tracked it down years ago at the adamant insistence of Nancy Harmon Jenkins, one of the world’s most knowledgeable food folks, and it’s had a growing cadre of fans ever since.
Maussane is made using the old-fashioned Provençal fruité noir, or "black fruity" method. Instead of picking olives green and pressing immediately, Maussane is picked late, when the olives have ripened to near-black, and they are left to ferment a bit. They refer to the olives as "preserved." While many oils were pressed this way in the past, early picking and pressing is the norm today. This makes Maussane stand out. It has virtually none of the grassy bitterness that you may find in other oils.
A rich, golden nectar with a distinctive herbal character no other oil can match, it sings with an unequaled pitch in its range of high and low flavor notes. One of its devoted fans once told me, "If you love olives, you’ll want to marry this oil."
The latest pressing, from fall 2014, is everything I hope for in Maussane. The aroma is sweet, buttery, and reminds me of olive tapenade. The oil has a luscious mouthfeel, thick and creamy on the tongue, with a buttery, black olive flavor. There's a tad more peppery tickle in the finish than in years past. Excellent.
"Essential to aioli, soupe aux pistou, soupe de poissons, ratatouille and other [Provençal] dishes."
Ed Behr, Art of Eating
New York Times