Golden performer

25 Sep, 2002 10:00 PM
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IT may seem a slippery concept to some but olive oil tasting has sparked fierce contest among this year's entrants at the Perth Royal Show.

Defending champion in the small commercial volume category Frankland River Olive Oil Company will return to defend the gold medal with its winning drop, the Jingilli Frantoio.

Among the three varieties produced by Frankland, which include Luccino and a Tuscan Blend, the Frantoio was its sole entry in last year's event.

And the start-up company is hoping for a repeat performance of the oil this year.

Operation manager Mike Watkins expects Frankland will "cream 'em again".

"Last year we entered one oil and we won," he said.

The only disappointment was the newly bottled Luccino with its bold grassy body and strong peppery finish would not be ready in time for the show.

But oil producers would need to watch out in coming years, according to Mr Watkins.

He explained the distinct flavours were derived from predominantly Tuscan olive varieties, including correggiola, pendilino, frantoio and leccino, as well as kalamata, nevadillo and blanco, which were grown on the property.

The cold pressing process, which did not refine the oil, ensured natural flavours of the olive remained trapped in the oil.

The 430ha property grows more than 100,000 trees in the relatively cool climate 300km south of Perth on the Frankland River, which allows for slow maturing and a more distinct flavour.

Frankland River Olive Oil Company was established by renowned wine makers in WA's Great Southern, including Geoffrey Cook, who was previously the director of Lionel Samson and Son, and Mervyn Lange, who was the founder and director of Alkoomi wines.

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