Cheese Please tasting, Friday May 27, 2016

Cheese Please
Friday May 27, 2016
Don Conrad

There was a packed house at Kensington Wine Market as we continued the highly popular wine and cheese series with Crystal McKenzie from Peasant Cheese. The theme this past Friday was the high and lows of wines and cheese of Spain, France, Austria and Germany. The high and lows being the hills and valleys of Europe.

The evening started with a Kensington Wine Market favourite,
Domaine des Aubuisieres Vouvray Brut $25.99. This is a sensational sparkling Chenin Blanc out of the Loire Valley. The wine is full of wonderful energy with delicate hints of ripe apple. A fantastic way to start the evening. Wish we had magnums! The wine really soared with the cheese pairing of St Marcellin. A cow’s milk, bloomy rind cheese from France. The cheese was creamy and mushroomy and was served in little terra cotta pots. This gem was a great match to the vibrant delicious Domaine des Aubuisieres Brut.

Our second wine offering was the 2011 Gobelsburg Gruner Veltliner Renner $40.99.  From an estate with a wine history going back to the 12 century. Wow, this is an intense wine. The Gruner was rich, full and spicy. A great example of the fine Guners coming out of Austria. The cheese match was once again out of France: Grand Paccard, a cow’s mild, natural rind cheese from France wrapped in spruce this cheese had a slightly resinous flavour. Delicious.  It provided a very tasty contrast to the Gruner’s intense complex flavours.

The 2009 Chateau d’Arlay Cotes du Jura Corail $40.99 was our first venture into the reds. This supple, pretty and very gulpable Jura is a blend of Pinot Noir, Trousseau, Pulsard, Chardonnay and Savagnin. The wine had a pale garnet hue, the palette was full of red cherry and spice notes. So unpretentious and so very tasty.  The cheese pairing was the Tomme de Tenne, a cow’s milk, natural rind in a rustic wheel. The cheese had a vegetal undertone and a supple easy texture. A lovely complement to Chateau d”Arlay.

Crystal also offered a Comte cheese pairing. The Comte is a cow’s milk natural rind cheese from Jura France. The cheese comes in a grand wheel and is full of nutty floral flavours.

For our next red we go to the high elevation of LaMancha. Here you find the wines of Altolandon. This organic producer simply produces delicious value wines.  The offering for this tasting was the 2010 Altolandon L’Ame Malbec $31.99. A unique offering out of Spain, this Malbec was rich and ripe, and full of blackberry notes. Big but not too heavy, this wine has tremendous balance. Crystal created a sensational Marechael and Comte fondue for this pairing. It doesn’t get any better than this!

We stay in Spain for our next red, 2010 Coca i Fito Aloja Mare Rosso $28.99 from the high terraces of the Montsant in Catalonia. This is a blend of Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. It is a big intense rich spicy wine. Full of ripe dark fruit, this wine really over delivers for its price. It went perfectly with the Ossau Iraty cheese pairing. The Ossau Iraty is a sheep’s milk natural rind from France. This savory cheese has hints of olive oil and seat salt. It is Crystal’s desert island cheese.

Back to France for our final red. The 2012 Chateau L’Euziere Escarboucles $35.99 hails from the Pic Saint-Loup in the Languedoc-Roussillon. A smoky rich Syrah, the wine screams out Cote Rotie, but at a third the price. This wine is full of damson plum flavours but it is seamless in its balance. A delicious hedonistic red. You just want to drink more. The Etivaz cheese was the pairing for this red. It is a cow’s mild natural rind cheese from France. Produced by hand over an open fire, the Etivaz is fruity, slightly nutty, smooth and flavourful. It is everything you expect from a gruyere style cheese. A lovely pairing to the bold smoky rich flavours of the Chateau L’Euziere.

As a surprise we decided to finish the tasting with an off dry white. The 2012 JJ Prum Riesling Spatlese Himmelreich $44.99 out of the Mosel is a tremendous finisher. An opulent off-dry Riesling, it was full ripe apples and stone fruit. There is incredible energy and fruit in this wine. It has years ahead of it, but it is very compelling now. The cheese pairing for this wine was a mild blue, Bleau de Moulis, a sheep milk blue rind cheese out of France. The mild bite and saltiness of the blue was a wonderful partner to the slightly off dry JJ Prum. A delicious pairing.

The patrons favourites:

After taking several votes the 2010 Altolandon L’Ame Malbec took the honours with the  2010 Coca i Fito Aloja Mare Rosso and the 2012 Chateau L’Euziere Escarbouches bringing up a close second. As for the cheese’s no voting was necessary everything tied for first place. There was nothing left!

A great evening had by all.

Cheers

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