Meet Quinta, a soft-ripened, bloomy-rind standout inspired by the very famous, seasonally-made Vacherin Mont d’Or from Switzerland.
Point Reyes’ version isn’t seasonal but shares the same attention to quality milk and artisan craft. The result is full of rich creamery butter with a mustardy/horseradish/woodsy finish.
The younger wheels have a custardy texture with a slight buttermilk freshness and a vanilla cream finish.
The more mature wheels are softer (and spoonable!) in texture. The richer flavor is filled with fresh creamery butter in the beginning and expands to notes of woodsy-mustard and wild mushroom with a CA Bay Laurel herbaceousness in the finish No matter the level of ripeness, the flavors intensify as you enjoy the cheese closer to the bark-wrapped perimeter Don’t forget to try the rind! The flavor is delicious with even more CA Bay Laurel and earthy, mushroomy notes.
Originally, the new cheese was meant to be similar to Reblochon: a semi-soft, washed-rind cheese from the Alps. But head cheesemaker Kuba Hemmerling turned to its now-iconic bark strap rind while looking for a sustainable way to keep the wheels from spreading during production. And that change became a key marker of the wheel’s identity.
The result is a spoonable, savory cheese with a distinct flavor that reflects the terroir of Northern California. It’s also a treat to look at, with dried bay leaves decorating both the top and bottom of the four-inch wheel, mirroring the earthiness that awaits underneath. Basch recommends enjoying Quinta between 30 and 75 days after production—the more mature it is, the softer the interior becomes.