Drinking Outside The Box

With Simon Woods – wine for people who have a life

Cheese & Wine – a marriage made in heaven? September 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

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Cheeses from La Fromagerie, Burgundies from Louis Jadot….so how do they get on together?

(Notes on the cheeses are from La Fromagerie – selected cheeses are also available at Sainsbury’s, Norbiton Fine Cheese Co., www.pongcheese.co.uk, Tesco, Waitrose and John Lewis)

Louis Jadot Bourgogne Chardonnay 2007 (£11.99 Tesco, Eagle Wines, Wine Rack, Eynsham Cellars, Partridges of Sloane Street, Satchells Burnham Market, Rhythm & Booze, www.everywine.co.uk)
Easy, clean modern Burg, not amazingly complex, but subtle citrus and melon flavours, and oaky/nutty notes to the finish. B+

Comté d’Estive (Franche-Comté)
Ivory-coloured with a rich, nutty flavour, and a crust golden brown. In the style of a distinct Gruyère with a hint of caramel sweetness. Mountain aged cheeses are stored in traditional cellars close to where they are made. A co-operative of 9 farms supply their milk for cheesemaking. This small partnership has built new maturing rooms using as many eco-friendly materials as possible including a grass roof, which allows the humidity to keep at an even level. This cheese is chosen from July, August and September as we love the rich, fruity almost burnt caramel flavours, with a gritty salty tang. (Approx weight 40kg. 45% fat)

Reblochon (Savoie)
Semi-soft disc with washed and rubbed pinky-gold rind. Pate almost chewy supple, with rather nice earthy aroma and rich hazelnut taste. The cheeses are washed in an Arbois wine before ripening. The rind and all can be eaten, unless weather conditions have made the crust soggy and bitter. The name of the cheese comes from the word Reblocher which is the Alpine Patois meaning to milk a second time. In medieval times farmers had to pay rent on their land based on the amount of milk their cattle were producing. After their morning milking they would note down the amount and the Inspectors would take the paperwork away with them thinking that this was the day’s total. After they had gone, the farmers would finish off the process by milking for a second time, and this milk was very rich and buttery since the cows had the benefit of more feed, and the farmers would then make the Reblochon cheese to sell on the quiet at local markets or use as a form of currency to buy equipment or other goods; (ever wondered why coins are round – it is because of the shape of cheese!). The milk from the first milking went on to make Abondance and Beaufort semi-hard cheeses. (Approx weight 500g. 45% fat)

Louis Jadot Pouilly Fuissé 2008 (£14.99 Tesco, Wholefoods, Partridges of Sloane Street, www.everywine.co.uk)
Ripe and exotic – is there a touch of botrytis here? Certainly has bold, fleshy peach, pineapple and melon flavours, yet while it’s intense, it’s not all that subtle, and I prefer the Bourgogne Blanc. B(+)

Chaource (Champagne)
Semi-soft with a dense crumbly texture and a natural white bloomy crust. A creamy rather sold drum shape, the edges slightly melting with a little ripening in a humid cellar. Tastes light when young, becoming tastier and flakier with maturity. A good pairing for sharper fruity white wines as well as light reds. (Approx weight 300g. 45% fat)

Explorateur (Île de France)
Very rich and creamy with a light, soft fudgy texture and a downy white fluffy bloom on the rind. The earthy gentle mushroom taste is a good accompaniment to harder fruity tasting cheeses. There is the distinctive buttery finish which is perfect for the Pouilly Fuissé.

Louis Jadot Bourgogne Pinot Noir 2007 (£11.99 Tesco, Eynsham Cellars, Fenwicks, Hailsham Cellars, Rhythm & Booze, Leamington Wine Company, Peckhams, Partridges of Sloane Street, Satchells, www.everywine.co.uk)
While there’s a generosity to the just-cooked forest fruit flavours, there’s also some spice, tannin and body. Drinking well now but still has freshness and a touch of violet on the finish. S-

Beaufort Chalet D’Alpage (Savoie)
Classic high mountain cheese selected from small traditional producers making cheeses from the summer milk and matured in the mountain chalets. Creamy, pale gold colour & smooth but as it ages cracks appear ripening the cheese. Lovely almost sweet nutty flavour, rich and never abrasive on the tongue even with aged cheeses. The high mountain cheeses benefit from cattle grazing on supremely clean, unpolluted summer pastures studded with aromatic flowers and alpine flora, ultimately producing rich, fragrant and elegant cheeses. Good to note it keeps well even in poor conditions. (Approx weight 45kg. 55% fat)

Camembert Fermier Durand (Normandy)
A traditional farmhouse handmade cheese from a small farm using milk from their own herd. Believe it or not this is the last small dairy left in the Camembert commune operating in this way as all the others are part of co-operatives or much bigger production taking milk from many farms. The cheeses come in quite young, but after two weeks maturing in temperature and humidity controlled rooms they acquire their beautiful soft and pliable texture with a lighter nuttier aroma. Made in limited quantities they are a little more expensive, but if you want to taste a true artisan’s work and the last of its kind then enjoy this and hope that the tradition continues into the future. Along with our Pont l’Eveque you have effectively a unique taste of Normandy. The Pinot Noir is a good complementing wine for this cheese. (Approx weight 250gr. 45% fat)

Louis Jadot Côte de Beaune-Villages 2008 (£12.99 Waitrose, Sainsburys, www.everywine.co.uk)
Dumb, chunky youngster at present, and watching it over the course of 2 days I’m not sure it will ever be great. The raspberry pastille and cherry kernel flavour is pleasant but it’s currently submerged beneath the earthy tannic structure. Also an edge of brettanomyces strips some of the finer nuances. B(+)

Cantal Laguiole (Auvergne)
The Laguiole is like a mature, moist Cheddar or Lancashire, but younger (approx 2 months). The cheese has a smooth texture and fruity nutty taste rather like an English regional cheese. Not too aggressive on the tongue, yet tangy enough for full flavoured wines. (Approx weight 35kg. 45% fat)

Fourme D’Ambert (Auvergne)
Known as the “connoisseur’s blue cheese”. Capsule shaped cheese patched grey/white moulds on a natural thin crust. The interior is creamy coloured with a smooth even marbling which doesn’t dominate the flavour. The texture is rich and mellow with a nutty subtle flavour making it a perfect partner for fine wines as the taste is not overly aggressive. (Approx weight 1.7kg. 45% fat)

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