Blue cheese fans are everywhere and none are more passionate than those who love to imbibe in Bleu des Basques.
Origin: The village of Macaye, near Espelette at the foot of the French Pyerénées
Milk Type: Pasteurized sheep milk collected from ewes from over 250 local farmers. The traditional sheep breeds of the area are used: Black Faced Manech, Red-Faced Manech, and Basco-Bearnaise.
Style: This is a firm blue with a natural rind, aged in ancient cellars in the village. The natural yeasts and molds of the cellars are an integral part of the ageing and ripening of the cheese
Description: The paste of the cheese is firm and veined with blue-green coloured mold. The natural crust tends to be greyish in colour, dry, and slightly powdery. The wheels are either two kilos or five kilos.
Tasting Notes: Bleu des Basques is very different from most other French blues. It isn’t brined so it's far less salty, although it does still have a tiny salty kick at the end. Typical of Basque sheep’s cheese, it has a lovely fruity taste, with a tangy finish. The blue veining is distinctive but not strong, and it doesn’t take away from the delicate nature of the sheep milk.
Pairing: A match we love is the typical Basque accompaniment to sheep cheese - black cherry jam.
From the GOW site, we found three wines that should be a perfect fit.