As promised, here are my remaining 3 wines that I am pairing with the three “Entertaining Cheeses” that I received from Saputo. The three wines are: CedarCreek Chardonnay 2017, 50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2017, and Château de Marsan 2010. Two BC wines and one French Bordeaux wine with 10 years of age. The three cheeses are from the brands Cathedral City and Alexis de Portneuf via Saputo. From Alexis de Portneuf there is a Cantonnier and their Cendré de Lune. From athedral City there is their Mature Cheddar. In my previous article I paired these three wines with a Riesling from Ontario and a Syrah from BC, which you can read at this link.
Some Background on the Cheeses
From Alexis de Portneuf there is a Cantonnier, a firm pressed cheese uncooked and surface ripened with a washed rind, and their Cendré de Lune, a soft surface-ripened cheese with a velvety surface covered with vegetable ash. From Cathedral City there is their Mature Cheddar. When you purchase this box of cheeses it comes with a pamphlet that describes the cheeses. The Cantonnier is a new cheese to me. In the pamphlet it notes that this cheese has a fruity cream and fresh apple flavour. And that the butter cultures used give it a distinctive buttery and nutty taste. They describe the Cendré de Lune as a triple cream Brie that releases fresh mushroom aromas ending with buttery flavours. It matures slowly from the outside inwards to develop a creamy texture. It is delicately acidic when young, but through ripening it develops hot milk and creamy aromas. Lastly the Cathedral City Cheddar comes from a creamery in Cornwall, the southernmost region of England where their cows can graze in their pastures for much of the year. They describe this cheese as classic and comforting.
My Tasting Notes from the Last Article
Cantonnier – This cheese has a light mushroom and buttery aroma. You may say that it also has a buttered popcorn aroma. It is firm, with a creamy texture. Mild yeasty flavour with a buttery finish. It has a firm edible rind. An interesting cheese that is OK on it’s own, but I think will be much better paired with a wine.
Cendré de Lune – This cheese has a nice buttery, creamy interior with some air pockets. It is firmer toward the edge. It has a light coating of ash on the rind. Creamy, buttery flavour with a bit of edge from the ash. Very mild flavour. A lovely texture. This is an excellent cheese to enjoy on its own. The creaminess and mellowness of this cheese lets you enjoy this cheese on its own.
Mature Cheddar – Light yellow butter colour. It has a very light, mild nose. Dry with medium sharpness that gets creamy in your mouth. There is a touch of saltiness and butteriness, with some nuttiness toward the end. I really enjoyed this cheese on it’s own. I enjoy the combination of the creaminess and light sharpness of this cheese.
My Wine Tasting Notes
CedarCreek Chardonnay 2017 (2019 vintage on sale at BC Liquor Stores till Jan 2. BC $16.99) – An oak aged Chardonnay, you get a medium plus intensity nose with primarily pineapple, with lesser amounts of citrus, peach and toasted oak. No changes to the aromas with decanting. This is a dry wine with a thicker body and flavour intensity. Again lots of pineapple supported by oak and some pepperiness that begins at the mid-palate. This wine is semi-round as it’s medium plus acidity keeps an edge to the wine and not too heavy. With decanting you get lots of pineapple and butterscotch flavour, lighter pepperiness, and a rounder mouthfeel. A medium length finishing with pineapple, butterscotch and pepperiness. This wine is just as good whether it is decanted or not.
Rating: A mix of pineapple mostly, plus citrus and a touch of oak on the nose. It has a thicker mouthfeel, with ripe pineapple, butterscotch and pepperiness on the palate.
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2017 (out of stock, but 2018 is available BC $34) – Coming from Lake Country, north Okanagan, and cooler climate, I expected this Pinot to be a little lighter bodied, but I noticed the alc content at 14.5%. This is a much riper, darker fruited Pinot Noir than you typically get in BC. It has a lighter nose with a mix of ripe raspberries, bramble berry, smokiness, sweet spices, cherries, and with air some tobacco and floral aromas. After decanting I also picked up a ripe fig aroma. This wine is dry with medium acidity and light very fine tannins. It is quite smooth and round but has a peppery bite on the tongue. Fuller bodied with flavours of plums, raspberries and bramble berries, and touches of floral, vanilla and oak. With swirling the wine developed some bitterness which I hope is temporary and will dissipate with decanting. Decanting did reduce the bitterness. I also noted the wine was now not quite as round, and had a lighter mid palate. It has a medium length finishing with red fruits, pepperiness some puckering acidity and medium tannins. Decanting recommended.
Rating: A bigger, bolder Pinot Noir from BC. Ripe berry aromas, smokiness, and tobacco on the nose. Quite smooth, fuller bodied with flavours of plums, raspberries, bramble berries, light pepperiness, and tannins. Some bitterness, which can be reduced by decanting.
Château de Marsan, Cotes de Bordeaux 2010 (no longer available) – This aged Bordeaux has a light intensity nose showing some tertiary aromas of leather. You also get a mix of red and black cherries, and touches of vanilla, oak and cedar aromas. After decanting I also noted a candied cherry aroma. This wine is dry with lighter acidity and tannins, but fuller bodied and quite flavourful. It is round and has a generous mouthfeel. Aged fruits; red fruits, raspberries and plums flavours. With swirling you get some cedar and candied cherries as well on the palate. With decanting I noted red apples and vanilla flavour as well. A medium plus length finishing with dried red fruits, light oak and fine tannins.
Rating: An elegant aged Bordeaux. A light intensity nose with mostly red fruits, some ripe cherries, leather and touches of vanilla and oak. Fuller bodied, round and smooth on the palate. Aged fruits, red and black, plus plums flavours. Fine tannins to the finish.
My Pairing Notes
The Cantonnier and Chardonnay pairing was complementary. The Chardonnay’s acidity soften and lightens the cheese, but you still get the buttery taste. Plus you get the pineapple and pepperiness of the wine. A nice play of flavours. With the Cendré de Lune, the acidity in the Chardonnay was a bit too strong for the creaminess of this cheese, so you are primarily getting the taste of the wine. Lastly the Mature Cheddar with the Chardonnay was also a good pairing. The wine made the cheese feel creamier, you get the acidic prickle from the wine and the sharpness of the cheese, then the butteriness of the cheese. I’d pick the Cantonnier as my favourite pairing followed closely by the Cheddar.
50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir
The Cantonnier mushroom flavour and aroma did not pair well with the Pinot Noir. I think that a lighter bodied Pinot Noir would have been a better match for this cheese. I do enjoy this cheese on it’s own with it’s mushroomy character. When the Cendré de Lune is paired with this wine you get the creamy texture from the cheese but no cheese flavours. The wine is a bit too strong, so you are basically getting the fruit flavour in the wine from the pairing. The Mature Cheddar was the best pairing. You get the creamy texture from the cheese plus a reduction in the oak bitterness in the wine. The creaminess and the sharpness of the Cheddar lasts longer than the fruit flavours in the wine, so this Cheddar can hold it’s own.
Château de Marsan
This Bordeaux wine flavours were a bit too strong for the Cantonnier pairing. I was able to get the texture from the cheese, but nothing else unfortunately. The Cendré de Lune pairing was better. You get the creamy texture from the cheese and the red apple flavour from the wine with decanting. Nice. Lastly the Mature Cheddar was again my favourite pairing. The flavour from the Cheddar is matched by the flavour intensity of the wine, once you decant the wine. I enjoyed the sharpness from the Cheddar and the fruit of the wine together.
Overall the Mature Cheddar paired the best with all the wines I tasted, followed closely by the Cendré de Lune. I think the Cantonnier needed some lighter, unoaked wines to make a nice match. That being said, I did enjoy sampling these cheeses on their own without wine, so don’t hesitate to buy these cheeses if you are making a mixed plate of cheese, fruit, and cured meats.
Where Can I Buy These Wines and Cheeses?
If this cheese collection is interesting to you, you can purchase it via https://www.saputo.ca/en/cheese-collection-boxes. A nice Holiday gift.
The CedarCreek Chardonnay 2017 is now up to the 2019 vintage and is available at BC Liquor Stores (on sale till Jan 2, 2021). You can also purchase it at the CedarCreek website. The 2018 vintage is available at the Swirl Wine Store in Yaletown. The 50th Parallel Estate Pinot Noir 2017 is out of stock on their website, but 2018 is available BC. The 2016 vintage of this wine is available at the Swirl Wine Store. I purchased the Château de Marsan 2010 a few years ago at a BC government liquor store Bordeaux release. It is no longer available. But this is a Right Bank Bordeaux with primarily Merlot (70%) and some Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), so if you search for another Right Bank Bordeaux wine with this mix you should have a similar experience.