Manteo helps to break the mold for what’s expected of hard sheep’s milk cheese from Spain. Upon first glance, one will see the lack of markings on the rind from Esparto grass that is often used to aged cheeses of this nature here. Instead the rind is left natural, smooth in texture with native microflora helping to shape the trajectory of the cheese.
Aged for up to ten months, the flavor profile is complex, and drastically different than something like Manchego. Upfront, the cheese is rich and savory, with notes of cooked pasta. It evolves to become sweeter, tones of macadamia nuts and caramel breaking through. Finally, it finishes more tart, often lingering well past the final bite.
FORMAT 6lb Wheels
TYPE Pressed, Natural Rind
MILK Raw Sheep, Castilian
PRODUCER Ignacio and Jesus Sanz, Quesería Campoveja
REGION Castilla y Leon
AGE 10+ months
PROFILE The cheese opens up with classic sheepy notes, almost more reminiscent of some aged Italian Pecorino. Sweeter notes stand out with hints of toasted nuts. The profile begins to develop more towards cooked, al dente pasta with a slightly tart finish that lingers on the pallet.