Milk: Raw Sheep’s Milk
Rennet: Animal Rennet
Region: Basque Region
This delicious treat comes from the Basque region of Spain. It’s one of my favorite cheeses to pronounce, ee-dee-ah-THA-bahl. The typical raw sheep’s milk used for production comes from Latxa and Carranzana. After production, this cheese was traditionally hung in chimneys to drain. This is where the wheels would absorb smoke of beech and hawthorn wood. Modern production uses smokerooms to accomplish that light smokey campfire profile. The optional smoking takes place at the end of the aging process, using woods from the beech-tree, birch-tree, cherry tree or white pine. The intensity of the smoked qualities depends upon the type of wood and length of smoking. The cheese is rustic, buttery, gamey, and rich. Much like a young Manchego with a hint of olive oil and a a buttery richness.
Hedges Family CMS, Columbia Valley, Washington
Producer: Hedges Family
Region Columbia Valley, Washington
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah
Bio-Dynamic (not certified)
The Hedges Family has an epic story of a Mother from Champagne and a father from Washington who took on the arid Washington wine country landscape and have carved out a niche in Red Mountain, Washington, a smaller appellation with the Columbia Valley AVA. Along with their children, Christophe and Sarah, the Hedges Family take great pride in farming their vines with the utmost respect for the earth and creating world- class wines. The wines are carefully crafted to reflect the unique terroir of Washington, with a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, while maintaining the classical traits of wines of Bordeaux.
The Hedges Family CMS is consistently recognized as a top value wine from Washington. Comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon (39%),Merlot (45%) and Syrah (16%), with top fruit from Columbia Valley is gently matured in french oak, then combined using traditional (Bordeaux) blending practices for a style consistent of wines from the northern latitudes.
The nose is restrained with red berry fruit, herbs and a whiff of graphite. On the palate, the soft, supple texture of Merlot takes a lead with red plums, red currants and slight anise flavors. The end is clean, simple and mildly tannic with a moderate finish.
THE PAIRING – From Guest Star Rachel Miller
The wine, with it’s full cherry, dark berry notes balanced with the spicy notes of coffee and and smoke, meets it’s match with this cheese. A bite of the cheese satisfies with rich, olive oily notes and sweet smoke – matching with the medium/full bodied wine. When it is mixed with the wine both hold their own. They go together with a satisfying neutrality – neither one steals the show or brings a new flavor to the table. Perfectly balanced equality between the cheese and wine!
Cesar, Jill, & Rachel