This is a raw goat’s milk cheese, and a cousin of the famous Loire cheese Crottin de Chavignol. It is from affineur Herve Mons.See my notes.
Great pairing: Fig Paste (it brought out the dark side of the fig paste and showed the acidity of the cheese).
Good pairing: Valdosta Pecans, Honey, Apricot Preserves, Peach Butter, Rosé, Spätlese-level German Riesling. The Corvina-blend (red wine) was interesting but the cheese brought out the oak in the wine.
Neutral pairing: Plum Paste, Chutney, Apple Pickle, Ribolla-blend white wine, La Panzanella Flatbread
A rindless pasteurized creamy goat cheese which is covered in fresh herbs and pink peppercorns. Try with Alsatian Pinot Gris, light fruity reds like Chinon, or rosé wine from Provence. Fleur Verte smells of flinty goat plus distinctively of tarragon which it is covered with. The pate is very creamy and spreadable and tastes of tarragon.
Great pairing: Plum Paste
Good pairing: Valdosta Pecans, Apricot Preserves, Fig Paste (a bit too sweet but a 4+), Chutney, Rosé, Spätlese-level German Riesling, Champagne
A partially-biodynamic/organic pasteurized goat’s milk cheese with a soft, bloomy ash-coated rind which has a strong peppery element. Made on the Flowers by the Sea Farm. The nose is very clean of clean goat and minerals. The rind is springy with layer of black ash under a layer of bloomy white. The interior is gooey and runny and very white. The flavor is extremely salty with good acids on the finish. The rind adds a fair amount of acridness which I don't like. I prefer this cheese without the rind. Great pairing: Fig and Plum Paste
Good pairing: Green apple, La Panzanella Flatbread, Apricot Preserves, Spätlese-level German Riesling
This is a farmstead cheese made of raw milk from a closed herd of Holstein cows which graze on the certified organic pastures near Tomales Bay. Smells strongly of blue molds and cream, The pate is chalky and meaty with a grainyness and slightly sour bitter finish. Great Pairing: None found but Chutney was almost here.
Good Pairing: Apricot Preserves, Plum Paste, Fig Paste, La Panzanella Flatbread
Neutral Pairing: Honey, Green apple, Spätlese-level German Riesling, Pecans (on the neutral-good side),
Bad Pairing: Ribolla-blend (white wine), Corvina-blend (red wine)
Notes on the Wines:
NV Paul Déthune Blanc de Noirs Grand Cru Ambonnay
(A hard-to-find grower Champagne.)
Nose of bread and citrus with underlying minerals. Smooth and yeast center with a tart minerally finish. Very white wine-like character. (Excellent value. - Jack)
2004 Pascal Cotat Sancerre Chavignol Rosé
Interesting nose of herbs and crushed plums. Minerally tart center with a very clean finish. (A good wine that did not impress. - Jack)
2001 Movia Veliko Bianco
Very expressive nose of apricot and cooked peach with underlying minerals and flowers. Round center with smooth vanilla and flowers integrated with a tart long clean finish. Very complex. A Ribolla Gialla blend. (Rocking now and will age forever. - Jack)
2001 StrubNiersteiner Paterberg Riesling Spätlese
Very minerally nose with underlying flowers. Needs more acidity. Slightly sweet and slightly sugary finish. (Missing some acidity that prevents it from being great. Still, a nice wine. - Jack)
2003 Masi Campofiorin Ripasso Veronese IGT
This Corvina-blend has a nose of cherry vanilla. Chewy center of bright cherry and smooth vanilla. A bit of wood and leather on the finish.
Accompaniments we tried with each cheese:
English Apple Pickle
from The Fine Cheese Co
subtitled as “partner for goat’s milk cheeses”
Penngrove Whole Grain Bread from Full Circle Bakery (Has a hint of barley malt in it.)
La Panzanella Crackerbread - Flatbread – Original Flavor
The house standard. It showed well with almost all the cheeses – enhancing flavors rather than overpowering them. (Jack thinks they are perfect with soft cow's milk cheeses such as Abbaye de Citeaux, Tallegio, Red Hawk, Celtic Promise, etc.)
Fruit & Nut Crostini
From Anjou Bakery
A crisp bread packed with nuts and dried fruit.
From Sahale Snacks
Valdosta Pecans with dried Cranberries, black pepper and orange.