July 1, 2007

Michel Cluizel – 1er Cru d’Hacienda Concepcion – review – Hans-Peter Rot

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Written by: Hans-Peter Rot

Very few air bubbles exact their toll on the surface, but otherwise, there are no flaws as Cluizel obviously accedes to perfection with appearance, including a color that approaches the red-brown side of things. Aroma has some spunk by way of a slight twang that seems pronounced by the grapey and raspberry character. It’s got the basic Carenero fruitiness and some nuttiness too that altogether push forward assertively without leeway for finesse.

The aggression from the aroma finds a home in an opening raspberry flavor that unfortunately fails to develop any further. One even senses some tropical urges flailing below but something is striding over them with greater authority, perhaps the honey sweetness and sweet spices that even give the allusion to earthiness. These subtleties in character cause a flavor that for now seems to be a whisper of what the bean can truly offer, since here one feels that the chocolate is holding something back.

Texture for Cluizel is uncharacteristic but not disconcerting. The smoothness and creaminess is customary, but the consistency splinters on occasion, making one feel that the chocolate as a whole could use some improvement here and there to bring it up to par. For sure the flavor is not what one would expect from Carenero; indeed, it seems aloof and monotone, without much of the bean’s character providing exceptional contributions to the flavor. It’s pretty much a level plane with only scratches in the surface rather than deep, revealing furrows.

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Hans-Peter Rot



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