I was recently sent a selection of Round Pond Estate olive oils to sample, much to my delight. Having just completed a previous article on various olive oils from around the world, I wanted to give the Round Pond Estate oils their own write-up due to elegant nature of their product. It didn't seem fair to group this oil in with a broad spectrum review of local and international oils. The oils that Round Pond sent and I so graciously received were a set of their special "herb infused" flavors, a variety of tastes that deserve a review all on their own. First, a little history on Round Pond Estate...
"Located in the acclaimed Rutherford region of Napa Valley, California, Round Pond is a family-owned and operated estate designed around our world-class vineyards, gardens and orchards. In an area renowned for the depth and complexity of its Cabernet Sauvignon, the extraordinary artisan olive oils, vinegars, and limited-production wines produced from our estate reflect our family’s dedication to crafting the finest specialty food items while working to preserve the natural integrity of this esteemed property."
Here's what Round Pond Estate has to say about their distinguished, original oils:
"Ripened in the rich soils of Rutherford, California, the imported Mediterranean olive trees of Round Pond Estate bestow upon fruit of extraordinary purity, flavor and character. Each of our four estate olive oils is crafted from a meticulous selection of hand-harvested olives using our signature pressing methods, which combine traditional stone mill techniques with state-of-the-art technology. Master blending in small lots, and bottling only on demand ensures that each gourmet olive oil is delivered to our customers at the height of vibrant freshness. We are also pleased to announce the release of three new, complementary herb infused oils, made from the very finest California extra virgin olive oil and hand blended at the Estate. We invite you to savor the goodness of our artisan oils."
"Graced with the Rutherford region’s rich soils and temperate climate, our orchards have proven ideal for eight distinctive varietals of Italian and Spanish olive trees, each selected for their flavors, aromas, superior reputations, and compatibility with the Napa Valley’s unique micro climate.
Round Pond began importing and planting its carefully selected olive trees in 1998. Today, our olive orchards span 12 acres, for a total of 2,200 trees, some over 100 years old. These estate-grown olive trees produce rich and fragrant extra virgin olive oils. Offering an array of flavors, from the Tuscan-style fruity, green essence of Leccino olives to the rich and buttery flavors of our Spanish Sevillano olives, Round Pond oils are blended to emulate the finest Italian and Spanish oils, while setting a new standard for olive oil production in North America."
The first sample I tried was the Garlic olive oil. I'm a big fan of anything garlic, but I find that too many olive oils become overpowered by this herb's strong scent and flavor. Not this one. Round Pond has found a way to combine the essence of garlic with light, airy taste of their extra virgin olive oil. The perfect blend of infused flavor that complements just about any dish out there with its savory, velvety taste.
"Our garlic olive oil is a wonderful fusion of extra virgin olive oil with a must-have in anyone’s kitchen, delicious garlic! With an unmistakable aroma of roasted garlic, the Round Pond Garlic Olive Oil captures the signature scent and flavor of fresh garlic. And with the right underlying, balanced notes of buttery, lush olive oil to complement the garlic, this winning combination will be sure to please."
I used the Garlic olive oil in my favorite caprese salad, along with cherry tomatoes, cigliani mozzarella and fresh sliced basil leaves.
Next, we have the Rosemary olive oil. Immediately I noticed the scent of coniferous plant life in this oil, the undeniable aroma of a Northern California forest. With it's herbaceous aroma and tangy flavor, this oil would be perfect in a marinade or accompanying a slice of toasted, crusty potato bread.
"With an essence of pine needles, cedar and spruce, the Round Pond Rosemary Olive Oil is ideal as both a dipping oil and a complement to many favorite family recipes. Whether accompanying your roasted pork tenderloin or rack of lamb at your holiday table or simply drizzled on top of your go-to weeknight minestrone, the Rosemary oil will add a tasty zing and finish to your dishes."
Lastly, there is the Basil olive oil, in all its green, leafy glory. Indeed, I find this to be my favorite dipping oil from Round Pond. I love the flavor and aftertaste it leaves in my mouth, almost like summer in a bottle. Fresh, zesty and fragrant, it pairs perfectly with breads and veggies. Tonight I will be using it to dress our organic salmon filets, paired with haricot vert and portabello mushrooms.
"With enticing notes of eucalyptus, opal basil and mint, the Round Pond Basil Olive Oil captures the essence of fresh basil in a bottle. Whether using it as a condiment or simply for dipping bread, it is as varied in its uses as an olive oil can be! We simply love the impact this fresh hint of basil adds to almost anything we’re cooking and know you will enjoy it too."
I was thrilled to be able to partake in sampling Round Pond Estate's olive oils- a special thank you to Michelle Fleming at Benson Marketing for sharing these delicious, refined oils with me. I enjoyed incorporating them into my everyday food recipes and look forward to making the remainder of the oils last as long as possible- and when those run out, I will certainly be visiting Round Pond to pick up more!