by Mark Taylor
Dievole & Colle di Bordocheo: two oils for a unique emotion
Autumn, but especially winter, is the time for the new “green gold” in Tuscany. This is what the extra-virgin olive oil is called. This year’s harvest has yielded a high quality oil even if less in quantity. Every area of this region has different traits making it unique, as is the oil that comes from these areas. This is why Tuscan EVO oil, marked by its particular characteristic, can have slightly different tastes. Precisely for these differences we wanted to try two oils together with dishes by Riccardo Serni of Trattoria Moderna in Florence and those by Monika Filipinska, Polish of origin but totally “Chiantigiana” now, chef at the restaurant Novecento at Azienda Dievole in Radda in Chianti. At Trattoria Moderna we became acquainted with the green oil of Colle di Bordocheo, a small farm managed by the young Barbara Chelini on the hills of Lucca which is also a holiday farm as well as a wine-producing estate, rising between the historic Villa Mansi and Villa Torrigiani. It is the fruit of about 1,650 plants of the classic Tuscan variety – fantoio, moraiolo, leccino and pendolino – treated with all the due attention of organic olive growing: no systemic treatments (the oil fly is neutered with the bacillus thuringiensis), pruned on alternate years, grassed field, harvest starting in October to immediately capture the best features of the fruit, cold-pressed olives every evening in an oil mill of the area. Thus a tasty, strong and spicy, but not aggressive, oil is born, clear, fruity, only slightly bitter with a hint of tomato leaves. An oil rich in poliphenols and taste but not too fatty or slimy. At Dievole we tasted more oils but the one which lingered on the palate in a new and more decisive way was “Tocca Stelle”, a product obtained from their historic olive grove in the Chianti Classico just to mark the strong bond with tradition and the production area. It is an oil with hints of almonds, dried fruit and green notes of cut grass and artichokes.