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Gran Couva 2005
January 17, 2006
6:09 pm
Sandleking
Brooklyn, USA
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Just had a small piece of the Valrhona Bar over the weekend, 2005 batch and I’m kind of confused by the taste because although the chocolate flavor was ok, it didn’t seem to last as long as I suspected. I’ve been staying away from the Valrhona bars for a while but thought I would give their origin bars a chance (by the way, the chuao from 2002 was not very good). Anyone else have any thoughts on any of the 2005 bars? Just curious as I never know if its just me :P

January 19, 2006
6:29 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Haven’t tried the 2005 vintages yet, but may I ask why you expected the flavor to last? Valrhona doesn’t necessarily excel with long finishes, if you catch my drift. Also, have you tried previous vintages?

January 19, 2006
6:52 pm
Sandleking
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I have not tried the pervious vinatges and you are probably right, i should have known the shorter finish with Valhrona. I guess because they made such a big deal out of these bars that I thought they would be better. Don’t believe the hype I guess. Also had the Chacao bar from Domori last night and it was bitter and citrusy and awful, I think I just got an awful bar as can sometimes happen. This isn’t normally the case with chacao is it?

January 19, 2006
7:44 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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Part of the hype surrounding the 2005 vintages was centered around the fact that Valrhona was unable to import the 2004 bars into the US last year, and so once 2005 arrived people were already one-year starved. And if you think about it, 2004 was the debut of Palmira, and so many Americans have not even tried this one yet.

Regardless, it is always best to NOT listen to the hype surrounding a chocolate, because if you do you essentially set yourself up for disappointment, since one person’s praise may not be deemed worthy by you. But whether or not you do, it is crucial to enter a tasting as objectively as possible and to let your brain and tongue to do the judging. You like what you like and that’s all there is to it. You have your preferences and you have your own personal idea as to what constitutes your ideal chocolate, so use THAT as your guide and not anyone else’s word. This way, you will give every chocolate a fair shot. But if you don’t like a chocolate that much, it is always wise to write what you don’t like about it and what you do like about your favorites.

Domori has been known to suffer from highly variable batches, yes, but I have not yet experienced that problem with any of the Chacao bars. This has happened quite frequently with the Chateau line, though, and of course with the cru, but the latter have undergone drastic production changes so the differences aren’t as alarming as they are expected. Which Chacao bar are you referring to, btw? If it’s Puro, then say no more. That one isn’t exactly what I would regard as a success.

January 20, 2006
5:01 pm
Sandleking
Brooklyn, USA
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Yes i believe what you say is true. The importation problems probably built things up more than necessary. The chacao was the 70% which i had bought on reading the positive thoughts on it. It was the most inedible bar I’ve had yet as it was just bitter citrus fruits all over the place and I had to toss it I couldn’t stand it so. I did have the Noir Infini last night again and it seems to get better with every tasting. The bitterness was not there and it just tastes delicious. I did try the chuchurri from Guittard and it was very red fruit oriented but also VERY good. Quite enjoyable and I would definitely purchase it again.

January 20, 2006
6:02 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I don’t know what to tell you about that Chacao bar other than buy it again a couple months from now and see how it tastes. Make sure you get the lot number first, otherwise, you still might wind up with an older bar of the same batch you just had.

Colombian cacao has a tendency to have a red flavor anyway, so it’s not uncommon for it to stick out that prominently. However, I found the floral notes in this bar simply amazing, but unfortunately the texture doesn’t fare too well.

January 22, 2006
12:51 am
seneca
USA
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If you’re looking for finish in the Valrhona origins bars then the Palmira is probably a better bet. The Ampamakia and Gran Couva are both pretty short in that department.

Incidentally, does anybody else feel that these chocolates would be better at a slightly higher percentage? They all seem too sweet to me at 64%…

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
January 22, 2006
1:22 am
ellie
london, United Kingdom
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Keep telling it myself, got people here bored already, I guess…[;)]

January 22, 2006
4:41 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Ampamakia is about right, but the others, yes, just a little. 67% might be better.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
January 23, 2006
5:58 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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I suggested that in the Palmira review because that one imo isn’t as great as it could be. Maybe a higher cocoa content could smooth out some of the rough edges. Gran Couva, otoh, I found to be very pleasing where it is. And Ampamakia definitely could be upped a little. It’s just too mild at 64%.

Incidentally, I thought Gran Couva 2004 had a comparatively long finish, although it was still considerably short when compared to other chocolates.

January 23, 2006
7:46 pm
seneca
USA
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I haven’t been able to taste them side by side, but I also have much fonder memories of the 2004 Gran Couva than of the current incarnation. It just seems a bit flat this time around–not as much fruitiness or length of flavor.

I would love a 67-70% Palmira! That would be good :-)

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com
January 23, 2006
8:14 pm
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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2004 was particularly kind to Gran Couva, yes, and imo, it surpasses previous years. Gran Couva isn’t so much fruity as it is nutty and grassy, the latter of which are strong characterizing flavors that practically define this chocolate.

How is Palmira 2005, btw? I heard the flavor has improved, but how is the texture? 2004 wasn’t normal for Valrhona.

January 24, 2006
9:53 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
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April 24, 2004
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quote:


Originally posted by seneca

If you’re looking for finish in the Valrhona origins bars then the Palmira is probably a better bet. The Ampamakia and Gran Couva are both pretty short in that department.

Incidentally, does anybody else feel that these chocolates would be better at a slightly higher percentage? They all seem too sweet to me at 64%…


Haven’t tried the 2005 bars yet, but i agree that Valrhona’s single estates could use some more%. This is especially true for the slightly candy-like Palmira.

IMHO, Cluizels Mangaro and Conception bars could use the same treatment – they are good chocs, but the sweetness is just a bit too profound sometimes.

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic…

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
March 4, 2006
3:20 am
seneca
USA
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I guess it’s no surprise that everyone here is for pushing the % up a bit :-)

Despite all that I have been enjoying the 2005 Palmira quite a bit. As far as texture, it’s certainly not as full of dairy creaminess as some of the Domori Venezuela origins, but still a really pleasant rounded mouthfeel, imo….

http://bittersweetcafe.blogspot.com http://www.bittersweetcafe.com