Chateau St Jean Malbec Reserve with Murray's Blue Cheese
This Treasure Cave® brand Blue Cheese has a long and rich history as the first commercially produced blue cheese brand in the United States. In 1935, caves in Faribault, Minnesota, were renovated and turned into a cheese-making facility. The caves provided the right temperature and environment to produce authentic, cave-aged cheeses. Produced in caves, Treasure Cave cheeses today are made in a state-of-the-art facility in Almena, Wisconsin, with curing cells to finalize the production while ensuring consistent quality of the brand's blue and gorgonzola cheeses.I've written in these pages about the irony that Murray's Cheese shop and wine and cheese bar/restaurant on Bleeker Street in New York City, Greenwich Village, one of our favorite eateries there, sold out to national retail grocer Kroger, who also took over local Chicago grocer Mariano's. Hence, the iconic New York cheese purveyor now has an in-store cheese shop in our neighborhood grocery here in Naperville.
Previous posts featuring Murray's Cheese in these pages:
Murray's Cheese Restaurant and wine bar on Bleeker Street in the Greenwich Village - Ultimate Wine Cheese Experience
Coronavirus Virtual Family Dinner and Birthday Celebration features Murrays Cheese Pairing
Looking at guidance from several cheese and wine sites, several suggested Malbec as an ideal wine for pairing with Blue Cheese, so I pulled from our cellar this premium Reserve Malbec for a cheese and wine pairing.
Chateau St Jean Sonoma County Malbec Reserve 2013
We tasted and obtained this label as part of a Reserve wine flight pairing at the Chateau St Jean estate during our Sonoma Napa Wine Experience back in 2017. I featured that tasting in a blogpost in these pages at the time - July 30, 2017 - Chateau St Jean Sonoma Reserve Private Tasting.
We've visited the estate and done tastings there numerous times over the years. Sonoma Harvest '09 - Chateau St Jean and again Sonoma Valley Wine Experience 2009 - Chateau St Jean.
This label was one of the highlights of that tasting.
Chateau St Jean Sonoma County Reserve Malbec 2013
Malbec grapes tend to have a dark inky color and robust tannins. It is one of the six designated grapes allowed in the blend of red Bordeaux wine. It is added to the blend to add deep color, intensity, tannin, structure, and complexity to the wine.
The Malbec grape is thin-skinned tends to need more sun and heat than either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to mature. The grape became less popular in Bordeaux after a devastating frost in 1956 killed off 75% of the crop forcing replanting of the varietal.
The grape is
included in the blend to add dark color, body and structure to the wine.
As the trend to robust forward wines became more popular, many
producers crafted wines that were a majority, even100% Malbec. The varietal gained notoriety and become popular as one of the main varietals planted in Argentina.
St Jean label is produced and released in very limited quantities and
hence is only available to wine club members at the winery.
Winemaker's notes: The Reserve Malbec was blended with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon (6%) to round out the final vintage. Individual lots of each variety were aged separately for 28 months exclusively in small French oak barrels with only 5% being new barrels. Barrel by barrel, each lot was tasted and the most outstanding Malbec barrels were selected and then blended with specific lots of Cabernet Sauvignon to complete the final wine.