` 'Il Magnifico' Award Goes to Don Gioacchino - Olive Oil Times

'Il Magnifico' Award Goes to Don Gioacchino

Jun. 8, 2015
Luciana Squadrilli

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Don Gioacchino PDO extra vir­gin olive oil made in Apulia by Sabino Leone was appointed Il Magnifico” (The Magnificent) at the inter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion bear­ing the same name, dur­ing an award cer­e­mony at the stun­ning Antinori win­ery in Tuscany.

The intensely scented extra vir­gin made with Coratina olives from cen­tury-old trees, which also won a Gold Award at the 2015 New York International Olive Oil Competition (NYIOOC), was among the eight final­ists that the com­pe­ti­tion panel ana­lyzed one more time to deter­mine which one deserved the high­est recognition. 

il Magnifico” winner Sabino Leone

The other final­ists were Le Tre Colonne by Salvatore Stallone (Apulia), Villa Magra Grand Cru by Frantoio Franci, Olio di Dievole by Dievole, Balduccio by the epony­mous farm and Fonte di Foiano Grand Cru by Fonte di Foiano (all from Tuscany), Veneranda 19 by Tenuta Zuppini (Abruzzo) and D.O.O. Mate Timbro Istriano by Agrofin (Croatia).

The eight final­ists won the gold medal, and an equal num­ber won sil­ver and the bronze medals. Sabino Leone received a Tuscan terra-cotta jar sym­bol­iz­ing the ancient local tra­di­tion of pro­duc­ing and pre­serv­ing extra vir­gin olive oil.

The jury also awarded two spe­cial prizes in part­ner­ship with the com­pe­ti­tion’s two main spon­sors. The first of these prizes went to the Dievole farm: After ded­i­cat­ing a long time to wine­mak­ing, in the last two years they invested a lot of money and com­mit­ment to pro­duce excel­lent extra vir­gin olive oil. Those efforts deserved the prize appointed by the local bank Chianti Banca as the best emerg­ing farm. 

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The Casaliva sin­gle vari­ety extra vir­gin made by Comincioli near the Garda lake won the other spe­cial prize, appointed by the olive oil plant pro­ducer TEM as the best depit­ted extra vir­gin olive oil — a cat­e­gory that, accord­ing to TEM’s owner Giorgio Mori, shows its best poten­tial in dif­fi­cult years such as this past one.

The two prizes were also meant as a homage to the mem­ory of two major fig­ures of Tuscan and Italian olive oil who died in 2011: Marco Mugelli, the renowned olive oil expert and cre­ator of National Association of Professional Olive Oil Tasters, and Massimo Pasquini, who worked at the Florence Chamber of Commerce and who gave a lot of his time and effort to the pro­mo­tion of high qual­ity olive oils.

The Il Magnifico award and the non-profit asso­ci­a­tion of the same name which orga­nizes it, were cre­ated in 2012 to cel­e­brate those men and their work by a group of Tuscan extra vir­gin olive oil enthu­si­asts, among which are Matia Barciulli (exec­u­tive chef at the Antinori restau­rants in the Chianti area, includ­ing the Michelin Star Osteria di Passignano), the jour­nal­ist Patrizia Cantini, Giorgio Mori and the pho­tog­ra­pher and video maker Alessandro Moggi; the lat­ter pro­duced the beau­ti­ful videos of the annual events as well as the pre­sen­ta­tion video.

The main focus of the award is to pro­mote qual­ity extra vir­gin olive oil and its trade, rep­re­sent­ing an undis­puted and uncom­pro­mised ref­er­ence point. This is why there are no cat­e­gories based on ori­gin or type of olive oil: the ANAPOO panel led by Franco Pasquini repeat­edly blind-tastes all the sam­ples with no indi­ca­tion about cul­ti­var or ori­gin and eval­u­ates them on an organolep­tic base, giv­ing each sam­ple a numeric score. The oils get­ting the high­est score are short-listed and then tasted again to estab­lish Il Magnifico.”

In 2015, there were a lower num­ber of entries due the dif­fi­cult har­vest (around 80 sam­ples com­pared to last year’s 100) but oils hailed from many Italian regions and from 9 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. For this rea­son, the com­pe­ti­tion’s rules were mod­i­fied to accept two entries from each pro­ducer instead of one, and the final award was uni­fied for Italian and for­eign extra vir­gin olive oils. 

Another inno­va­tion of the 2015 edi­tion was the pri­or­ity given to com­pa­nies whose main activ­ity is pro­duc­ing extra vir­gin olive oil, in order to sus­tain and pro­mote busi­nesses pri­mar­ily focus­ing on this product.

Sabino Leone thus becomes the first non-Tuscan pro­ducer to receive the award, fol­low­ing the 2013 and 2014 win­ners Fonte di Foiano and Reto di Montisoni.


Il Magnifico 2015

Don Gioacchino Dop, Azienda Agricola Sabino Leone – Canosa di Puglia

Gold Medals

Le Tre Colonne, Azienda Agricola Salvatore Stallone – Giovinazzo, Italy
Villa Magra Grand Cru, Frantoio Franci – Montenero d’Orcia, Italy
Olio di Dievole, Dievole – Vagliaglia, Italy
Balduccio, Azienda Agricola Balduccio – Lamporecchio, Italy
Fonte di Foiano Grand Cru, Soc. Agr. Fonte di Foiano – Castagneto Carducci, Italy
Veneranda 19, Tenuta Zuppini – Torricella Sicura, Italy
D.O.O. Mate Timbro Istriano, Agrofin – Croazia

Silver Medals

Monocultivar Nocellara, Società Torre Rivera – Andria, Italy
Le Sciare, Romano Vincenzo e C. — Bronte, Italy
Olio di Dievole Coratina, Dievole – Vagliagli, Italy
La Foresta, Maria Eleonora Acton di Leporano– Cannavà di Rizziconi, Italy
Monocultivar Cima di Mola, Intini – Alberobello, Italy
Monocultivar Frantoio, Fattoria Ramerino – Bagno a Ripoli, Italy
Casaliva, Azienda Agricola Comincioli – Puegnago del Garda, Italy
Parueoliva Serie Oro, Almazara de la Subbetica – Spain

Bronze Medals

Olio Salutaris Cesare Buomanici, Azienda Agricola Buonamici – Fiesole, Italy
Classico, Azienda Agricola Bonomelli Ca’ Reinene – Torri del Benaco, Italy
Il Cavallino Special Edition – Azienda Agricola Il Cavallino – Bibbona, Italy
Huile d’Olive de Provence, Bastid du Laval – France
Oli d’Oliva Finques Verge Extra, L’Olivera – Spain
OlioCru, Oliocru Consorzio – Arco, Italy
Andante Intenso, Porteville Olives – South Africa
Rio Largo Premium Blend, Rio Largo Olive Estate – South Africa


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