Every year, the Autumnal Equinox is a celebration of many things, and now, cheese is one of them. Oregon-based cheesemaker Rogue Creamery is bringing the cheese from the moon as it announced the release of its 2021 vintage of Rogue River Blue, the reigning World Champion Cheese, on September 22.
“The release of Rogue River Blue is our favorite time of year. It’s always exciting to taste a recipe I’ve been working on for 19 years and see what unique flavors arise in each year’s vintage,” said David Gremmels, President of Rogue Creamery, who has been dubbed “Mr. Blue.”
I see the cow jumping with joy over the moon. This aged blue cheese won the title of World Champion at the 2019/20 World Cheese Awards, held in Bergamo, Italy. It was the first American-made cheese to achieve this top honor in cheesemaking. In a blind tasting of 3,800 cheeses from 42 countries, Rogue River Blue was ranked the best cheese of the year. Rogue River Blue will maintain its world champion status through this fall.
All of the organic cow’s milk used to make this cheese is sourced from the Rogue Creamery Dairy Farm, located outside Grants Pass, Oregon. To make Rogue River Blue, Rogue Creamery only uses milk collected in the fall, when fresh rains bring renewed growth in the pastures and its cow’s milk is at its best. After cave-aging the wheels for nine to 11 months, Rogue Creamery wraps the cheese in organic, biodynamic Syrah grape leaves soaked in pear spirits.
Gremmels shared that the 2021 Rogue River Blue exhibits sweet and spicy flavors with heady notes of fermented fruit, comice pear, and brown butter. Fudgy and rich, it boasts ample brushite (calcium phosphate) crystals that develop with age, providing a textural complexity that makes Rogue River Blue distinctive. According to the release, complex notes of brandy, vanilla, toffee, truffle, and fig—along with a pronounced “blue” flavor—make this distinctive cheese a true representation of Oregon’s Rogue River Valley.
Due to ever-increasing public demand and its limited, seasonal availability, Rogue River Blue is expected to sell out very quickly. It will be offered for sale on the cheesemaker’s site beginning September 22, 2021, and will be available at select grocers, specialty food stores, and independent cheese shops nationwide into the fall.
Cheesemongers and connoisseurs from Portland to New York, Spain to Australia are eager to get their hands on the new vintage of Rogue River Blue, so be sure to claim this limited cheese star while you can!
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