La Cave à Fromage, Brighton, UK [Part 1]

As suggested by the name La Cave à Fromage is a specialist retailer stocking an incredible selection of the finest cheese. Alongside selling cheese they also run a series of tasting events, based around wine and cheese pairing. I attended an event at the Brighton  bringing together two of my favourite things: French cheese and wine.  For those of you in London they also have branches in Notting Hill and South Kensington (only 100 yards from The Sampler if you want to have a real gourmet day).

We tasted a total of 6 wines and cheeses on the night and as such I have split the article into two parts. Part two is due to be posted at the weekend and I will be adding the link is here. If you have any suggestions for great wine and cheese pairings please post in the comments below or on our twitter.

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La Renaudie, Bergerac Sec, Sauvignon Blanc.

This was a pale gold in colour, with a restrained nose of floral notes and gooseberry.  The palate was bone dry, savoury and rich with a low level of citrus and gooseberry.  The finish was long and drying with high acidity and pleasing minerality.  A bitter note I was unable to place detracted slightly from what was otherwise an enjoyable dry Sauvignon.

Score: 86/100 (DT)

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The wine was paired with St Maure de Touraine AOC goats cheese from the Loire.  This was an ash coated log shaped goats cheese,  with a rich presentation and was notably less sharp than some.  It worked well with the wine as would be expected from this classic pairing.

Platter

Cheese clockwise from bottom left: St Maure de Touraine AOC, Brillat Savarin AOC, Cantal AOC, Ossau-Iraty AOC, Bleu des Causses AOC

La Villa Angeli, Don Pasquale Cuvee, Vermentinu

This wine hails from Corsica, and I believe is the first time I have tasted a Corsican wine. Moderate intensity lemon in colour and fuller on the nose than the previous wine.  This had more fruit, smelt leesy and is oak-aged.  As with the first wine this was savoury and dry with greater complexity.  Again there was a slightly bitter note on the mid palate likely from the oak.  This had good structure, although I felt was slightly out of balance at this point in time.

Score: 86/100 (DT)

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The second wine was paired with a Brillat Savarin, a cow’s milk cheese from ile-de-France.  This cheese has an incredibly texture, described accurately as cloud-like.  There is a serious amount of fat in this cheese resulting in a creamy, buttery presentation.  Well worth seeking out if this is your cup of tea.

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The bread was really needed to bring the fatty, creamy delight of the Brillat Savarin into line.

Jousselin et Fils, Touraine, Gamay

This was a red wine from Touraine, made for early drinking from the Gamay grape.  From tasting I wondered if they use Carbonic Maceration in the production of this wine, although it may just be the nature of the Gamay grape.  This was a rich garnet with ruby rim and only light tears. Mixed red and black fruit on the palate, almost over-ripe.  This had high acidity but only light body, and was a young, fresh wine.

Score: 79/100 (DT)

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For me this was the cheese of the night – a Cantal AOC from the Auvergne.  This cheese is one of the oldest made in France, and the example we tasted had been aged to increase complexity. The rind in particular was almost overpowering, and perhaps the best way to describe the cheese is formidable. The freshness of the wine made a reasonable job of balancing the intensity of the cheese.

Glass and taste

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