Roque River Blue
Milk: Cow, Raw Milk, Vegetarian Microbial Rennet
Country: USA, Oregon
Accompaniment: Sweet whites, heavy reds, port, brandy
Rogue's cheesemasters about their award-winning cheese:
"This unique artisan blue cheese reflects a deep connection to the land and artisanship. Taking a cue from centuries-old Basque and Provencal techniques (which featured brandy-soaked chestnut leaves), these rounds are lovingly hand-wrapped in local Carpenter Hill Vineyard Syrah leaves that have been macerated in Clear Creek Pear Brandy. Rogue River blue is made during the autumnal equinox and before the winter solstice from Brown Swiss and Holstein cow’s milk, certified sustainable by Food Alliance. The cows graze in 1250 foot elevation pastures bordering Rogue River, where they eat a variety of pasture and native grasses, hop clover, wild herbs, Himalayan blackberries and wild flowers, supplemented with grass hay, alfalfa and grain off the ranch.
Rogue River blue cheese is wrapped in grape leaves that have been macerated in pear brandy. Its forward, well-aged flavor tastes of brandy, fruit and burnt cream. A creamy, crunchy-smooth texture conjures specks of rock candy dissolving like divinity. The antique linen-hued paste features random tôile-styled patterns of green blue veins and the rind is gracefully imprinted by its grape leaf wrapping. The flavors of our signature terroir include hints of sweet pine, wild ripened berries, hazelnuts, morels and pears.
This is a truly unique cheese that deservedly was voted the best blue cheese at the World Cheese Competition a number of years running."