Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé Carenero Superior 73% 90.5/100

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Named after the northern port town from which they ship, Carenero beans are grown in the Miranda province of Venezuela with some beans coming from growing regions in Barlovento. Here we have a trinitario variety collected from around the port and supplied by Cacao San Jose and the Franceschi brothers. Carenero has a good reputation for its cacao, producing some of the fruitiest of the Venezuelan cacaos, but managing to retain some of the refined characteristics of north coastal Venezuelan cacao to go with it. Once shipped they arrive in Budapest, Hungary at Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé’s workshop where husband and wife team Zsolt Szabad and Katalin Csiszar help to turn them into one of their intricate tile moulded chocolate bars.

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Having tried a few Carenero bars in the past I had some inclinations of what to expect with this bar, having experienced some softly acidic tropical fruit flavours previously, I expected the bar to be bright and fun to taste. This bar was a little different from my expectations, there was still the interplay of lightly acidic fruit and refined cocoa, but it played out with different flavours. After marvelling at the intricate moulding again, the aroma came out as caramel sweet spice and cocoa, which was much more in the typical north coastal Venezuelan region of aromas. To taste though there was the presence of an acidity, though not what I would call bright, if anything the strongest characteristic of this bar was the sweetness. Fruit flavours of raisin and cherry took second place to sweet spice, with caramels, toffees, cinnamon and gingerbread taking up centre stage in the round. All the notable production skill Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé have is present with good length and mouthfeel making this bar a pleasure to enjoy, not your usual Carenero, this one’s a little more refined and more like a criollo than a trinitario making it less bright and fruity, more rich and indulgent.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 9.5/10

Colour: Medium brown, sandy
Texture: Very smooth
Mould: Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé intricate flower mould
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss

Aroma 8.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Intense cocoa, cinnamon, all spice, caramel
Quality: Rich

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Even
Texture: Buttery, fudgey
Quality: Rich, texture complements flavour

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 6
Notes: Raisin, cherry
Quality: Complementary, balanced

Sweetness 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Toffee caramel, cherry syrup (kirsch)
Quality: Refined, rounded

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8.5
Type: Sweet, bitter
Notes: Intense cocoa, raisin, cinnamon, gingerbread, salted caramel brownie, morello cherry
Quality: Deep, rich

Length 9/10

Flavours are rich, deep and long

Finish 9/10

Notes: Spike of cherry then cocoa and caramel
Quality: Flavour, acidity and sweetness come to a crescendo, leaving chocolate brownie and caramel behind to linger for a long while

Balance 8.5/10

Flavours are complementary and match up well, but bar lacks harmony, there is a medium strong structure, but bar feels a little loose

Overall 9/10

Bar is well developed, with a good degree of complexity, there is depth and dimension as well as a distinctive character, flavours are rich and refined, but can feel a little loose in its

 

Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé’s Tasting Notes: A trinitario collected around the port of Carenero in the middle of the Northern Coast of Venezuela with a light colour and mild character. Through careful roasting and processing we attempted to reserve as much of the bean’s own, cherry and flower aroma as possible.

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