Info Details
Country Germany   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Chuao   (Criollo group)
Source Venezuela   (Chuao)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Neo-Modern      
Bigger than any 2 by 4 cut of lumber that smacks right in the 3rd eye... really more a 70 by 70 tree trunk (70% cacao-content x 70 hour conche)... the Gram Saman in the forest falling right on the mouth & pops open the 7 Seals to unleash a contender for the ‘it’ bar from the ‘it’ destination.

Just bombs it & blows the head off.
Appearance   4.7 / 5
part of an all-Chuao boxed-set collection that bears striking resemblance (as in right on the head pin) to Marcolini’s packaging
Color: dark maroon in the Schwarzwald
Surface: all the flaking & chipping in the world only barely mar the Coppeneur beauty mold that remains among the finest & most distinct in chocodom
Temper: conspicuous shine against matte-backing for double dazzle
Snap: powerful & literal for such a thin pour of the mold; photogenic edge of some sanded deposits ala the Frisian Islands
Aroma   8.4 / 10
initial luftwaffe is reserved but dense: low-lying dried cocoa powder (so pure... seemingly alkalized) -> goes green over the llanos (grassy savannahs) growing tobac leaf -> bellows acetic acid -> precious little fruit other than in a vinous vein which eventuates that bluestberry Chuao -> vapor trails of deep smoked-hickory & oak along the edge wall w/ mite frankincense
Mouthfeel   13 / 15
Texture: well-finessed; middleweight lace
Melt: fluid / liquid... irrigates a friction-free paradox w/ clean stringent grip
Flavor   48.8 / 50
loads-in pure chocolate shot thru some cocoa dust it picks up on the way to candied blueberry -> deep-descent roasting falls on charred molasses (mol-ashes really)... stays there til rebalancing on stringent grape skins -> scrapes across Vermouth-like dryness bringing things green (marjoram, chamomile) & vanilla-oak cask (very vinous) -> guarana spreads out cocoa-mushroom paté in the underbrush -> bluestone molecule -> back acid intensifies for sour grenadine w/ lime drop (nearly a Shirley Temple) -> hyroplanes out on choco-tini
Quality   19.4 / 20
Another engineering marvel from Coppeneur. Spare: just adds sugar (& possibly cacáo butter). The hi-profile seed – from vaunted Chuao – feels rather under-fermented by the stringency despite a reported 6 day length. Flirts with peril (in a dangerous nod to Amedei’s take on the same varietal... that bitter-roasted moment (achieved in part by a relatively lengthy 45-minutes in close to 260ºF), sacrificing fruits & creams but also sublimating traditional Chuao licorice / molasses) then fights for survival (successfully, thanks to both tannins & acids) to complete the course & check all that boxes on the way to turning Chuao into its own laboratory vineyard.

Whereas some makers (most recently De Vries or Amano) impose their mark on a bean for an exaggerated wine-sense, especially toward stone notes in the latter bar-smith, this just nails it with more polish & greater definition thru a combination of understatements contrasting against bold thresholds without crossing over the edge. Such restraint brings it somewhat in line with the Marcolini Chuao, both being rather linear compared to other Chuaos yet retains enough of that mingling & collision of differences that’s a natural, inextricable feature of the origin. And... keeps on giving.


ING: cocoa, sugar

Reviewed Summer 2010


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