Pairing of the Week: Little Napoleon & Domaine Sauvete Oneiros

Pairing of the Week: Little Napoleon & Domaine Sauvete Oneiros

Posted in Cheese, Pairing of the Week, Wine, American Artisan Cheese, and White Wine on
by pastoral  |  1 comment

THE PAIRING

From Pastoral Monger Jonathan Self
Little Napoleon And Sauvete Oneiros

The Wine: Starts with a funky apricot on the nose. Juicy start with a pleasant biter minerality at the end. The famous Loire slate minerality is ever present.

The Cheese: The Cheese is clean on the nose. Very gentle with an ever so slight fresh wet cut grass smell. The texture is dreamy. It's toothsome and fudgy. This is an excellent entry level goat cheese.

The Magic: In the case of this pairing I believe the cheese helps make the wine better rather than the traditional vice versa. For me, when the two meet the wine flip flops in order. In my mouth the cheese pops the minerality in the wine at the start and it leaves me with a bigger juicier finish. I wish we had come up with this during the heat of the summer because I feel confident in predicting the word "refreshing" is really all you need to describe this pairing.

THE CHEESE

From Pastoral Fromager Cesar Olivares

Little Napolean

Little Napoleon

Producer: Zingerman's Creamery

Region: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Country: United States

Milk: Goat

Cheese Type: Bloomy Rind

Rennet: Animal

What once started as a small deli in the early 80's has become quite the institution in specialty food. Representing some of the finest things in food, their business consists of 5 separate but very connected companies. Their last line of business was the Road House restaurant and the chef took home the James Beard Award for the best chef in the Midwest. 

This creamery is an off-shoot of the famed Deli, and produces fresh cheeses, as well as gelato. Since 2001 head cheesemaker John Loomis has been sourcing local organic goat & cow’s milk, focusing on sustaining the local farm community and creating fresh, mold-ripened offerings which highlight the purity of their ingredients.

Mr. Loomis came to our Artisan Producer Festival and I hope that some of you got to meet him. He has been around the cheese community for many years before he took on the head cheesemaker job at Zingermans. Believe it or not he once sold cheese at our very own Green City Market back when it was first located at Navy Pier. He has studied with cheddar and caerphilly producers in England where he spent many years developing his passion for cheese.

Little Napoleon’s curds are hand-ladled & the cheese is mold-ripened, developing some blue mottling on the rind with age. As 2 week old babies these are creamy, and mildly sweet, with a pleasant tang. Heading into the 3rd week acidification presents a fuller, savory flavor, which continues to increase in goat-y strength and firmness.

This particular batch of cheese is incredible. The rind development is near perfect, as if they found the perfect blend of geotricum and penicillum. The flavor is robust, grassy, and luscious. The complexity comes in the mid palate and finishes with notes of whipped and sour cream. One would think it was almost sheep's milk of a Robiola blend. 

THE WINE

from Pastoral Wine Expert Adam Brunsen 

Domaine Sauvète Oneiros

Producer: Domaine Sauvète

Region: Loire Valley, France - Appellation Touraine Contrôlée

Grape: Sauvignon Blanc

The Loire Valley is a region to follow. Known for some very famous expressions of Sauvignon Blanc and Cab Franc the region is home to many of the preferred every day wines in France. New attention to the areas soil structures and aspect (slopes) has brought a lot of investment from great wine makers from other know AOC's in France. I would call this an are of value, the wines still don't fetch too much for the quality and almost always on a restaurant list or wine wall the whites especially give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Domaine Sauvète has been making wine since the early 20th century in a small village near Touraine. Now in their 4th generation, the Sauvète family is committed to organic cultivation of the land without the use of commercial fertilizers and chemical pesticides. In addition to Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Gamay Noir, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon are also grown on the domaine.

The Oneiros is 100% hand-harvested, stainless steel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc and a true representation of the unique terroir of the region--crisp, ripe citrus fruit with notable minerality from the sandy, flint soils. Both the nose and palate are textbook Sancerre (another sub appellation of Loire) offering pronounced chalky, gunflint minerality and a rounder, supple weight.

HAPPY PAIRING

Cesar, Adam & Jonathan