Recently we got our hands on Culture Magazine’s summer edition, and it fell open immediately to its ogle-worthy centerfold, Tome de Bordeaux. It’s stunning, and we just had to have it. We already know and love Tome d’Acquitaine, an aged goat cheese bathed in Sauternes, which also comes from the Jean d’Alos caves. Like the Aquitaine, the Tome de Bordeaux is made with goat milk and has the same beautiful snow white interior and fresh, floral aromas. But this cheese has another layer (a thing which Seattleites can always appreciate). This tome wears an amazing Technicolor coat of dried green herbs, including fennel, rosemary, thyme, savory, and oregano. On top of that is a starburst pattern of paprika, juniper berries, white peppercorns, and bird’s-eye peppers. It’s seriously attractive. The cheese is soft yet compact, with an enticing aroma and a clean, sweet, and earthy flavor. Get a little bit of the rind for some texture and powerful herbal flavor. This cheese calls out to be enjoyed by itself, with a little fruit confit (we’ve got suggestions) and a glass of white wine, or even a full-bodied rosé like the 2007 Marsannay Pinot Noir Rosé. We’re offering the Tome de Bordeaux for $8.25 for a quarter pound.
We also have some other fantastic new arrivals in the cheese case, which you can read about in the Cheese section below!
Wine @ PG
Buy any six bottles and get 10% off!
The Val de Loire is a wine “safety zone” for me. With whites and reds that are extremely food and wallet friendly, they’re always a pleasure to recommend to the lost souls who wander into the shop looking for something that will quench their thirst, and maybe satisfy a deeper need, at dinner time.
2008 Les Haut Vingot Anjou $8.99
A perennial favorite, this 100% Chenin Blanc is a great wine for cheeses ranging soft and creamy to sharp and nutty. Aromatic, with pear and tropical fruit notes, it is a fresh, young drinking white. Grown on the white limestone soil of Anjou, it is round on the palate, with a zippy finish!
2005 Chateau de Bellevue “Le Croix Picot” Savennières $18.99
In this Savennières, Chenin Blanc unveils its full sophistication and suavité. It grows on the esteemed vineyard of “Le Croix Picot”, known for its “crimson soil”, a mix of sandstone and shale. The wine is fermented in barrels with natural yeast. Elegant, with beeswax, quince, bread dough, and lime flowers on the nose. Plump, yet with a clean, crisp finish. Wonderfully balanced, it is a superlative pairing for the whole gamme of cheeses.
2008 Clos des Briords Muscadet Sevre et Maine Sur Lie VV $16.99
While there may not be a more natural pairing than Muscadet and oysters, straying from the beaten paths will bring delightful surprises. The high acidity and low alcohol brighten flavors and refresh the palate, enhancing and marrying the flavors of seafood, herbs, and seasonings. This one comes from an old vine planting, and the wine is aged on the lees for 18-24 months. With the exquisite minerality that is typical of Muscadet in this appellation, the wine exudes fresh notes of limestone and sea breeze. The slight salinity is off-set by a touch of creaminess on the palate. It is by far, my new favorite white in our shop!
“Bright straw. A piercing, energetic array of citrus and floral scents, complicated by strong minerality and a note of white pepper. Bitter lime pith and quinine flavors gain flesh and weight with air, taking a turn to sweeter tangerine and quince. Strikingly balanced and precise, with a long, spicy, mineral-dominated finish. This should be even better with a couple year of bottle age.” 92 points Stephen Tanzer
2008 Philippe Raimbault “Apud Sariacum” Sancerre $22.99
There is no more beautiful expression of Sauvignon Blanc than the wines of Sancerre. The cool climate, chalky soil, and passion of the small producers bring this grape to the height of its aromatic, austere elegance. Limestone, chalk, crushed rocks, and a heady, enticing florality that is nevertheless retrained. Excellent texture. Philippe Raimbault, a ninth-generation producer, puts enormous care into his small family of wines, even hand-harvesting, which is rare for this region. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more perfect example of Sancerre!
2009 Chateau de la Bonnelière Touraine Rosé $13.99
Medium salmon, this northerly rosé comes from a biodynamic estate where the soil is dominated by flinty clay. Restricted yields lead to a medium weight with raspberry, minerality, a slight herbaceous tint and silky finish. Delicious and distinctive, made from 100% Cabernet Franc, this is a great wine for rosé-lovers who want to get their pink-wary friends hooked on rosé!
Cheese @ PG
It’s a blessing and a curse to be both a cheesemonger and obsessively detail-oriented. It’s been one of those crazy mornings with a large shipment of cheeses: cutting and wrapping the new arrivals, finding them a home in the case, and, of course, sampling them merrily. Along with the Tome de Bordeaux, here are some of our first impressions of the new cheeses on the block:
Bethmale Tradition Chèvre ($7.99/quarter lb): We already love our mixed-milk Bethmale and the glowering face of Jean Faup on its label. This version is made exclusively with goat’s milk. It has a semi-firm texture with tiny little eyes (holes) throughout, offering an airy, delicate feel on the palate. Not goaty at all, this cheese is sweet, nutty, and mild.
La Ramier Roux ($5.75/quarter lb): From the southwestern region of Tarn, near Toulouse, an area replete with medieval ruins. This washed-rind cow’s milk cheese is fruity and sweet, with a creamy, unctuous texture. We’ve declared it our new go-to “snack attack” fix. Try it with our best-selling 2007 Trois Bastides Côtes du Tarn.
La Cadenelle de Hyelzas ($8.25/quarter lb): What the Causses! This somewhat desolate area of limestone plateaus churns out some of my favorite cheeses because of their rustic, clean flavors. La Cadenelle is a sheep’s milk cheese with crushed juniper berries added to the curd during production. We love the slightly textured feel in the mouth and the hint of spice and earthiness from the juniper berries, which balanced the sweetness of the cheese.
Cantal Doux ($4.49/quarter lb): This cheese is often referred to as “the cheddar of France.” We like it because it’s cut for us from a huge, beautiful wheel. When we tasted it this morning, it was particularly “cheddar-y”: mild and nutty, with a touch of sharpness on the finish. Try a Cantal and Apple Grilled Cheese sandwich: it’ll rock your lunchbox.
Charcuteire @ PG
Two completely different kinds of salami, which we love for different reasons.
Duck Salami: Uber-rich, this dry salami is cured with sea salt and garlic. Balanced flavors and a silky texture- exquisite!
Sweet Salami: From Freybe comes this Hungarian-style salami with a creamy, finely ground texture. With a mild, vinegary flavor and a touch of garlic, this salami makes a stellar sandwich or pizza topper. Kids will love it, and so will you!
Feed Your Mind @ PG
Boasting 299 classic French recipes, the collection’s real treasure lies in its quirky notes and cartoons on French culture, local artisans (a sexy baker!), and kitchen wisdom. A great gift for the cook who is comfortable in the kitchen and has a sense of humor.
Just for Fun @ PG
These are so cute they should be outlawed ($8.99/ea).
Thanks for reading, see you soon!
Abi & Rachel
Steve Winston & Sharon Baden, Owners