The Abbaye de TamiÃ© has been produced at the eponymous monastery in the Savoie since the 12th century. On the young side this cheese may remind you of the thick cream that rises to the top of fresh uncompromised milk; when it is a little older the cheese becomes beefier in flavor. The curds are cut fairly large and the young cheese is lightly pressed to give it an unctuous texture. Much of the depth of flavor comes from the full pasturage upon which the cows graze. The cheese has light washings giving it added depth. Younger or older, the cheese exudes a pleasant barnyard aroma.
With these qualities the Abbaye de TamiÃ© tolerates few ordinary wines. As with many other cheeses in this family, a fine Riesling makes the ideal partner. The bright acidity that these wines possess gracefully breaks down the butterfats. The sweet floral notes in Riesling balance the outdoorsy flavor aromatics of this exquisite cheese. For anyone that has not yet appreciated what Rieslings can bring to the table, the Abbaye de TamiÃ© should be on their plate.Posted by Max McCalman