Taste

A fine, delicate oil with a personality

“Il Roccolo”, a Garda PDO oil produced by Andrea Bertazzi, has a light fruity flavour that reveals its composition, a blend of Casaliva, Leccino, Pendolino and Moraiolo olives.

Maria Carla Squeo

A fine, delicate oil with a personality

Il Roccolo is a company quartered in the Garda Bresciano PDO production area. Although I have known the owner, Andrea Bertazzi, and his oil for many years, I never asked him for details about the company's name, its meaning and the reason why he chose this particular name.

For those who are unacquainted with hunting, a “roccolo” (i.e. a bird hide or blind) is a small wooden hut from which hunters shoot at birds. On the company's website, I found that this structure was built by Don Bartolomeo Bertazzi, the parish priest in Polpenazze del Garda from 1815 to 1826, and an ancestor of the current owner of the estate.

This is a tall, sleek building erected on the basement of a medieval turret at the top of a hill. Although I still haven't had the chance to visit it, I can presume that the view from there is absolutely stunning. Indeed, I would love to see the estate: I know that they organize many meetings open to the public, debates where one can learn interesting facts in a warm, welcoming environment.

The estate includes three hectares of vineyards and two of olive trees, mainly Casaliva, the typical cultivar of this area, as well as the Leccino, Pendolino and Moraiolo varieties.

The oil we sampled is not the latest made, but that produced last year, and we had the opportunity to taste it on various occasions, always from the same bottle, which was stored well, so that we could judge the stability of the oil. The outcome of the experiment was positive, thus proving that if something is good to start with, its quality will resist the passing of time.

Upon tasting it, we (I sampled the oil in good company) could immediately discern the distinctive qualities of the oils produced in this part of Italy, which are typically delicate and fine, yet pleasantly fruity. The nose immediately detects notes of medium-light intensity recalling the olive drupe, together with grass and almond. The oil is soft to the palate, and possesses a good fluidity, thanks to the presence of bitter, piquant notes that counterbalance the initial sweetness of the oil. The vegetable flavour is extremely pleasant, both delicate and fine, yet it has a personality, leaving us with a clean mouth after tasting it. Finally, there is the return of the almond, and a slight, moderate piquancy.

Andrea Bertazzi, as well as running his company, is also the president of the Consortium for the Protection of Garda POD oil. His olives are milled at the Cooperativa San Felice del Benaco.

Maria Carla Squeo

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