Selvapiana EVOO - June 2014 Selection
Fattoria Selvapiana is owned by Francesco Giuntini, a descendent of the original owner, Michele Giuntini, who bought the estate in 1827...
His adopted son, Federico Giuntini Masseti, now runs the estate. Federico is the son of the 'fattore' (estate manager) who has worked with the Giuntini family all his life. Federico was born on the estate, as was his sister Silvia, who is also involved in running the business. Located northeast of Florence in the Rufina zone, one of the smallest in Chianti at only 600 hectares, Selvapiana has 31 hectares of the Frantoio variety planted. Rufina is the coolest of all Tuscan olive oil producing zones, so tends to produce a greener, spicier oil than most.
Selvapiana Extra Virgin olive oil is made solely from Frantoio olives grown at 250-300 metres above sea level. This is a late ripening variety, so the olives are greener when picked, resulting in spicy, green oil. Selvapiana is situated in the Sieve Valley northeast of Florence where a cool current of mountain air is funnelled through a pass in the Apennines down the valley. This makes it one of the coolest grape and olive growing regions in Tuscany, giving oils that are among the greatest and most spicy in Tuscany.
"It is a long while since we've made an oil this good," said Federico Giuntini of Selvapiana. While it was a very late and wet Spring, the weather during the summer was dry. There were no problems with mildew or la mosca, the small fly that burrows into the olive and results in rancid oil. As a result, the olives were very healthy as August gave way to a wet September and October, with a third of the annual total of rain falling in those two months. Well-tended vineyards and healthy olive trees easily survived the deluge. On the whole, it is a uniformly consistent crop of excellent oils. The style is fresh, fruity and intense, a return to the 'true' Tuscan style after several atypical years. Picking started at Selvapiana on the 21st of October.
Ultra modern, stainless steel continuous presses are used. Most experts now agree that this method of pressing results in fresher, cleaner oils that retain their color and fruitiness for a longer period of time. The oil was settled in a mixture of terracotta 'orci' (urns), and stainless steel. It was bottled after a light filtration through cotton.
The oil is a vivid green with great viscosity. Fresh and clean aromas with notes of artichoke. On the palate, it is dense and viscous with lovely purity and intensity and a spicy, peppery character on the finish.