RIVOIRE JACQUEMIN Extra Old Comte Gruyere aged 15 months raw cows milk from France.
Made from a centuries-old recipe, 70-pound wheels of Gruyere de Comté have been produced since the reign of Charlemagne, when there were no separate entities named France and Switzerland. Comté has the highest production figures of all the French AOC cheeses, as cheese makers work to satisfy the world’s hunger for this exceptional cheese. Although Swiss Gruyere may be better known, the French variety is no less special. Created by local villagers in alpine dairies called “Fruiteries”, its milk comes from Montbeliarde and Tachete de L’est cows. Contributing to Comté’s unique flavor, morning and evening milkings are mingled before the cheesemaking process. For transforming the milk into curds, the cheesemaker only uses natural ferments to receive the Comte seal. During aging, the curd is cooked, then pressed, with a natural brushed rind that comes from weekly care.
When it comes to acquiring flavor, Comté cannot be hurried. These Reserve wheels are aged for two years, resulting in a sweet and nutty masterpiece with less bite than its twin from Switzerland.
Comté has a satiny, ivory-colored body and a scattering of holes the size of a hazelnut. A traditional fondue cheese, Comte can also be shredded, sliced, grated, chunked or melted. This is not a cheese that always tastes the same. Each round of Comté reveals differences in the composition of its flavor, depending on the micro-region where it was produced, the season, the particular technique of the cheese maker, and the cellar where it was matured. It can always be called upon and never disappoints, whether as a table cheese or in a gratin.
At the core of Rivoire-Jacquemin’s business is an unparalleled expertise of quality selection and traceability. We know the exact origin of each cheese, the farmer, the maker and the micro-terroir. Breaking away from the traditional barrel ripening process, Alix Jacquemin invented the cave ripening. Today, our first rate maître affineur (cave master) supervises each and every wheel with constant care: salting, rubbing, flipping, and monitoring the aging process.
Time is key to our success. Rivoire Jacquemin prefers using the slower traditional method: requiring a traditional know-how, unlike our competition who favor large scale production and a standardized product with no personality.
Rivoire Jacquemin is the only affineur that rubs Comté with Guérande sea salt. In our 38 cellars, we only use spruce planks from Jura to shelve our wheels. State of the art thermostat technology allows our cellar managers to fine-tune temperature and humidity to optimize ripening. We grade each cheese to determine which are for sale aged 4 to 6 months and which are destined to be aged for up to 30 months.