Sartori’s Award-Winning Cognac Bellavitano – Marcella The Cheesemonger International Guilde des Fromagers
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Sartori’s Award-Winning Cognac Bellavitano

bellavitano cognacWhen I interviewed Jim Sartori last summer, we discussed the uniqueness of Sartori’s Antigo Plant, where their award-winning Bellavitano Cheese is made. Originally a brewery, the Antigo Plant perhaps has residual hoppiness that contributes to Certified Master Cheesemakers recipes plus the flora and fauna of the region. Jim also shared that when the Master Cheesemakers make these cheeses in their other plants, they’re just not the same.

Cognac Bellavitano is made at Antigo and is the latest Sartori cheese to win a Super Gold Medal at the 2012 World Cheese Awards. This cheese is a small batch cheese that is aged 18 months and then it’s soaked in Remy Martin Cognac for a minimum of 7 days.

The result is amazing!!! Bellavitano is one of our favorite cheeses when it’s “just” Bellavitano… add Remy Martin and Holy Smokes!!! This cheese made The Lady weep while The Man swooned… I, possessing a higher intelligence than either of them, exercised control and enjoyed my fair share… no easy feat when The Man is swooning…

Cognac Bellavitano is nutty, slightly sweet with touches of smoke and oak. Biting into this cheese is like swirling cognac in a sifter and inhaling its intoxicating aroma. The creamy, buttery taste of the Bellavitano is there and pairs so well with the cognac, that you have to believe that this is a cheese made in heaven…

In other words, it’s as perfect a cheese as we’ve ever tasted here at the manse… and that’s saying a lot… The Lady has access to lots of world class cheeses which she brings home…

So that’s the good news… I give Cognac Bellavitano 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got). On this one, I have to throw in a couple of whiskers as well.

Serving Suggestions: Savor this one slowly alone or with a sifter of Remy Martin. Maybe add a few grapes and a slice of speck, but keep it simple. This cheese truly “stands alone”.

Now for the not-so-good news for many of you, my faithful readers…

Murray’s Cheese bought all of the 2012 release and it became available just before the holidays… it’s almost all gone until next fall. The Lady made a few calls on my behalf and learned that the Murray’s Cheese in the City Market in Dillon, Colorado has a few wedges; limited amounts can still be found in select Murray’s Cheese Shops in Kroger Stores in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can also score some of Cognac Bellavitano at the Murray’s Shops inside Kroger in Louisville, Kentucky (both the Saint Matthews store and the shop on Bardstown Road in The Highlands). King Soopers at 1650 W 30th Street in Boulder, Colorado also has a limited amount available. Select King Soopers in Denver also may have a little bit left…

And the new Kroger Store at Austin Landing in Miamisburg, Ohio that opens this Thursday will have at least one half wheel. The Lady was there last week and saw the half-wheel. It’s not inexpensive, but it sure is worth it. Buy a small wedge and savor it… (We will be posting more information about this store opening later today.)

And when you stop in Murray’s to buy a piece, tell them “The Cat Sent Me!!”

This Murray’s Cheese Exclusive Cheese is almost gone… so you better hurry… cause when it’s gone… it’s gone…

FYI, The Lady purchased the wedge she brought home; it was not given to her.

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