A retired surgeon, Jim Talcott, along with his wife Patricia, began growing olives in the Carneros region of Napa in 2004, and today their grove of 3,000 trees is the largest in the valley. The Talcotts grow a mix of Italian varietals, mostly Tuscan. The relatively cool growing conditions in Carneros help tame the harshness of Tuscan olives, but still allow the sought after "peppery" characteristic to shine through.
Talcott olive oil is buttery and slightly grassy, with a balanced hit of pungency on the finish. We like it tossed with pasta, freshly-grated Parmigiano cheese and a few grinds of black pepper.
Characteristics: Slight grassiness with mild bitterness...and a strong pungent finish
Tasting Bar Position: 7
Method of Production: Blade Press. McEvoy Ranch Petaluma
Total Production: 110 gallons
Harvest Date: November 6, 2013
In our store in St. Helena we have a tasting bar where you can walk through a tasting of all of our oils. To try to bring that experience to you virtually, we are ranking the oils in order of their taste.
In evaluation of an extra virgin olive oil, you look for three positive characteristics:
A. Fruitiness - smell and taste - descriptors are mowed lawn, alfalfa, artichoke, etc.....
B. Bitterness - taste only - makes you grimace....as in a bitter lettuce.
C. Pungency - taste only - burn in your throat...described as "peppery". Attributed to higher levels of polyphenols which are antioxidants.
The order on the bar from the lightest to the "biggest" are as follows:
1. Hawks Feather Blade Press EVOO - More buttery style oil with slight pungency
2. Stagecoach Italian Varietal EVOO - light fruitiness with a mild pungent finish
3. Pedregal Italian Varietal EVOO - grassy up front with mild pungency
4. Stagecoach Arbequina EVOO - grassy up front with stronger pungency
5. Olio Nuovo Central Valley EVOO - soft fruitiness with strong pungent finish
6. Epstein Family EVOO - Strong balance of grass, bitterness and pungency....a "big" oil