January 17, 2011

Sprüngli – Grand Cru Criollo de Maracaibo 65% – review – Martin Christy

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Written by: Martin Christy

A light looking bar with some burgundy notes, suggesting a medium roast. The thin 50 gram ‘half’ bars snap with a thud rather than a click, but appear well made and moulded with an elegant, if fancy, design.

Aroma is liquorice deep fruit, some cocoa powder, nut skins and pleasant light cream.

The bar is lightly made, melting quickly with fruit, then sugar, then fruit. Quite delicate with a background of saccharin sweetness. Melts coolly, leaving soft ginger and mulled wine on the tongue.

A chocolatey end, which is a little powdery, but this is very typical of criollos. Also some biscuit and light tannins.

No doubt a well made couverture and a well made bar. Sprüngli’s version leaves behind some of the earthier ground notes detectable in the source couverture, as direct from Felchlin. This is either from the moulding, or helped by ‘shelf time’ allowing the chocolate to settle.

A good, palatable Venezuelan, with some rich complexities balanced with delicacy, though the overall effect is a little sweet. Light and easy to eat, should be widely liked but does lack a little excitement.

About the Author

Martin Christy
Martin Christy is Seventy%’s editor and founder and is a leading voice in the chocolate industry, promoting the cause of fine chocolate and fine cacao and those who produce them. With twenty years’ experience of fine chocolate, he has travelled extensively visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. Martin is Judging Director of the International Chocolate Awards, which he founded in the UK with Kate Johns of Chocolate Week. He is also Acting Chairman of the new fine cacao and chocolate industry association, Direct Cacao and is a member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Tasting Panel. He is also a freelance writer about fine chocolate, contributing to UK magazines and several books about fine chocolate.



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