A maturing chocolate no doubt, Valrhona gives a glimpse into the bright future that Palmira could experience if they continue to tweak it to perfection. Let us cross our fingers and hope Valrhona realizes the potential that lies within their grasp.
Hans-Peter Rot: 29-Jul-2006
As usual for Valrhona, eyes are sated before the tongue, as a shimmering slab of orange-brown chocolate sits in a gold foil wrapper. The aroma continues to build excitement, unleashing strength and vibrancy. ItĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s quite sour actually, forged from an orange and almond blade that cuts sharply with a potent acidic edge. But thereĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s some smokiness in there, too, suggesting perhaps some artificial drying (???).
Palmira is initially chocolatyĂ˘â‚¬â€ťmuch stronger that expectedĂ˘â‚¬â€ťlaying down a foundation for the forthcoming flavor of almonds, which is then accompanied by a mounting acidity reminiscent of oranges and buttermilk, an overall tangy feel that is both cheerful and faintly abrasive with its acidity. Also present is that smidgen of smokiness hinted in the aroma, but this adds character and depth to a profile that needs it.
Although the texture is an improvement over the sandpaper of 2004Ă˘â‚¬â„˘s debut, it retains some graininess and dryness, suggesting that Valrhona’s slack meandered here as well despite the improvement in flavor. It appears that Palmira has improved dramatically over the last year, embodying a persona that is far less coarse and raspy but more refined and smoothed out to show great maturation in just one year. This is an especially pleasant surprise and is overall the Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“bestĂ˘â‚¬Âť among the 2005 vintages, especially compared to Gran Couva which took a vertical nosedive.