Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé Venezuela Trincheras 70% 94.5/100

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Las Trincheras is a cacao growing town, down the inland road from Puerto Cabello situated in the high altitude rainforest hills of the northern Venezuelan coast. Rounding up the last of the three producers using beans from this farm, Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé follow on from Ara Chocolat and Willie’s Cacao to show three different takes on the same harvests. Once harvested the Trincheras cacao then makes its way to Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé’s workshop in Budapest, Hungary having been supplied by the infamous Cacao San Jose, residence of the Franceschi brothers, one of only two suppliers Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé uses.

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Having tried two separate bars from the same harvested cacao at Las Trincheras, I’m a little aware of what to expect here. Previously I’ve experienced nutty caramels with just a hint of distinctive greenish fruit in the mix. Opening the bar is a pleasure as always with Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé, but I’m hit with a complex aroma, which has me curious with notes of butty caramels in the background, but upfront its all under ripe banana and plantian. In the end this bar scores 6.5 points more than Willie’s and 10 points more than Ara’s, its not that either of the other two bars are bad, far from it, Rózsavölgyi Csokoládés bar wins out because its excellent in its own right. I’m not saying that Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé are masters of chocolate (although they do a pretty good job with Madagascan Criollo’s too), but they are pretty masterful in their use of these Trincheras beans, creating an exemplary mouthfeel, wonderfully developed complexity in their sweetness and all the while maintaining some of the strongest balance I’ve come across in a bar. These attributes tend to suggest an application of the chocolatiers skills, roasting them, refining them and working them in a particular way to achieve these attributes, this isn’t just raw flavour, its balanced and sharpened to reveal itself in a particular manner, wrapped up in the finest of clothing. This is a good bar, I wasn’t sure I liked Trincheras with so many other great Venezuelans to compete with, but this bar changed my mind, it’s not just the cocoa it’s what you do with it that counts and in this case Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé seem to have done all the hard work of the farmers justice.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, cocoa butter

Appearance 9.5/10

Colour: Medium/dark brown, light purpling
Texture: Very smooth
Mould: Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé intricate flower mould
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Glossy consistent

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Hay, under ripe banana/plantain, green apples, caramelised almonds
Quality: Soft ferment, developed, complex

Melt/Mouthfeel 10/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Smooth, buttery
Quality: Refined, rich

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 2
Notes: Golden/baked apple
Quality: Complementary, rounded

Sweetness 10/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Caramel, toffee
Quality: Honest, developed, complex, balanced, rounded

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Type: Sweet
Notes: Toasted nuts, caramel, toffee, parkin, baked ginger, butter, hazelnut, baked apple
Quality: Honest, developed

Length 9/10

Flavours are on the softer and floaty side, but last an age, developing over a long round

Finish 9.5/10

Notes: Toffee, caramel, hazelnut, baked apple
Quality: Buttery toffee caramel finishes the round leaving a buttery mouthfeel with light bitter notes of hazelnut and sweet notes of baked apple

Balance 10/10

Balance, is everywhere, this bar is harmonious with attributes complementing and improving each other, structure is medium but bar never steps out of line without feeling restrained

Overall 9.5/10

This bar is balanced while complex, it has both depth of flavour and dimension, flavours are very developed, structure is highly uniform and expression is honest. This bar shows the hallmarks of high quality roasting and processing


Tasting Notes:

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