February 23, 2011

Bonnat – Apotequil 75%

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Written by: Stuart Robson

The colour starts things off well here, being quite deep brown but with subtle red highlights. The finish is as close to perfection as one could hope for; a high gloss shine and a loud, clean snap. There are no defects worthy of any note.

On the nose there is the initial impression of sawn wood, roasted almonds and cashews with raisin and slightly herbal tones beneath. A pure roasted cacao note builds over time and while the aromas are not particularly expressive, this is certainly enticing.

The initial flavours are delicate and refined; there is a winey tone along with some blanched almond and cream. It doesn’t take long for the intensity to build however and soon there are deep toasted nuts, a hint of fig and a rich unrelenting wave of creamy roasted notes. This is almost the pure expression of chocolate as a flavour experience with some lovely floral, citrusy subtitles showing throughout the length. The finish sees the almonds return and is soft and slightly earthy, remaining highly elegant and sophisticated with only minimal tannins. If one criticism could be drawn here it is that perhaps the finish drops away a little quickly but this is a small quibble.

A world on the melt which is as close to flawless as could be imagined; incredibly smooth, even, neither to fast nor to slow and in no way cloying or fudgy.

In many ways this is flawless chocolate from Bonnat; near perfect in its creation with well balanced flavours and a sense of great refinement. That being said, there is something of a monotone edge to the profile that leaves this reviewer just a little cold, almost as if textural perfection and the clarity of the overall profile may have left the individual flavours integrated almost too perfectly. This is a minor point however and in reality Apotequil feels like the very quintessence of fine chocolate and should certainly be applauded.

A near perfect finish

About the Author

Stuart Robson
Stuart Robson is a passionate foodie born in Scotland and based in Hertfordshire whose main expertise lies in the world of whisky and chocolate. He first began tasting fine chocolate in 2005 with Valrhona Manjari and has since developed a particular interest in single origin bars and a desire to highlight skilled cacao farmers and artisan producers all over the world. Stuart previously trained in Paris while working for a fine chocolatier, and has since become a reviewer for Seventypercent. He is still involved in freelance consultation for small companies working with bean-to-bar chocolate producers and chocolatiers.



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