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For the past quarter century, The Rare Wine Co. has earned a devoted following for the Tuscan olive oils bottled for us each fall. Since our first harvest in 1995, we haven’t just guaranteed our clients single-estate oils. We’ve also focused on oils from individual groves (oliveti), varieties and pressings. And we were very likely the first American oil importers to ship exclusively in temperature-controlled containers, as we do our wines.
With 26 harvests now under our belt—and our palates guided by our even greater experience with wine—we have a perspective other oil importers don’t. And so we can say with confidence that the 2020 Tuscan oils in our portfolio represent, overall, our finest lineup since the late 1990s. They should also prove to be among the most long-lived. If kept in a cool, dark place, they will remain rich and vibrant long past when other oils have faded.
The 2020 oils are the result of a unique set of growing conditions. The summer was hot and dry, hindered the olives' development. But that was a blessing in disguise. It set the stage for a miraculous turnaround in the fall, as the olives remained beautifully green until early November.
What saved the year—and elevated it above other recent harvests—was that September and October were relatively cool with just enough rain to nourish the trees. That triggered the development of the rich flavors and aromatics we associate with great Tuscan oil. And because each olive produced relatively little oil, the oils are generally very concentrated.
As we have done for the past 26 years, we have hand-selected individual pressings from some of the region's finest growers. Our lineup, as always, is a “who’s who” of top Tuscan oil producers.
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