Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse Mexico Carmelo 75% 93/100


This bar is made from white criollo beans the Northern coast of Mexico’s Tabasco region. Once harvested they’re shipped to Paris to the Manufacture de chocolat where Alain Ducasse and Nicolas Berger turn them into one of their chocolate bars.


I’ve just recently had the pleasure of trying Pierre Marcolini’s white criollo bar from Finca La Joya and I suspect this chocolate might be one in the same, also hailing from Tobasco in Mexico and being a white criollo with the name Carmelo, a name connected to the farm. I can only assume this chocolate will be very similar to Pierre Marcolini’s offering refined notes with a selection of purple fruit tones. A little different from the cocoa in Chiapas, but not a whole world away, still offering dimension and nuance and probably a distinctly smooth character. Hopefully this bar with be as smooth and balanced as Pierre Marcolini’s as well as offering the dimensioned and nuanced fruit flavours to go with it. Opening the packaging I’m presented with a geometric ridged slab and breaking a piece off reveals a subtle aroma of intense chocolate and almonds with some slightly acidic grape must. Placing a piece in my mouth, the chocolate has a wonderful mouthfeel, initially smooth and creamy it also becomes slightly jammy adding pleasurable texture to the mix. To taste this bar is particularly smooth and balanced with a great length of flavour that displays itself as a mixture of cherries, figs and golden raisin notes before seeing out its end with woody notes and a hint of salt, which I later discover is in the ingredients of the bar. The bar doesn’t particularly show itself as having vanilla and salt, beyond its smoothness and salt notes in the finish, which if I’m honest ony encourage you to keep eating more. There’s good flavour here and it displays itself particularly well with very accessible characteristics, it’s not particularly complex or complicated more accessibly nuanced and welcoming with all that smooth rounded character going on. This is a pretty impressive bar, it’s fruity without being overly acidic, it’s refined without being uptight and most of all it’s smooth like a good chocolate should be. Best enjoyed on its own or with intensely fruity rose, clotted cream or panna cotta.

Ingredients: Cocoa beans, cocoa butter, sugar, emulsifier: non-GMO sunflower lecithin, vanilla pods, fleur de sel

Appearance 9/10

Colour: Medium brown
Texture: Creamy smooth
Mould: Geometric ridged slab
Snap: Very crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte gloss

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Intense cocoa, almond, grape must
Quality: Refined, distinctive, deep

Melt/Mouthfeel 9.5/10

Length: Long
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Smooth, creamy, jammy
Quality: Smooth, full, rounded

Acidity 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 4
Notes: Cherry, raisin, fig
Quality: Smooth, fruity, rounded

Sweetness 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Notes: Ripe fruit, fruit jam, honey
Quality: Natural, developed, rounded

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 9
Type: Sweet
Notes: Cherry, sun raisin, fig, jam, dry woody tobacco, cream, hint of salt
Quality: Smooth, rounded, nuanced

Length 9.5/10

Flavours are subtle and smooth, but with a particularly long length, gliding over the melt, rounds come in long arcs from fruit and acidity

Finish 9/10

Notes: Jam, dry woody tobacco, cream, hint of salt
Quality: Jammy fruit flavours make their way to the end where dry wood and cream take over for the finish before a hint of salt, leaving a juicy, creamy, salt tone to linger

Balance 9.5/10

This bar has over balance, it’s smooth and subtle and nuanced developing great expression over the course of the melt, medium structure provides just enough anchoring

Overall 9.5/10

Bar has good degree of depth and plenty of dimension, complexities are well balanced and structure is consistent, expression seems honest with processing adding additional smoothness and stability

Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse’s Tasting Notes: An intense and subtle dark chocolate


One thought on “Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse Mexico Carmelo 75% 93/100

  1. Pingback: Best of Paris: Coffee & Chocolate Part 2 |

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