by Agostoni
Info Details
Country Italy   
Type Dark   (70%)
Strain Blend   
Source Madagascar   (Sambirano Valley)
Flavor Earthen   
Style Classic      
Quid pro quo: the status pro (Agostoni) sacrifices the status quo (Madagascan berries) for some 'pine mouth'.

Dunno but wanna find out what that is? Read on, good reader...
Appearance   2.6 / 5
Color: burnt orange-brown
Surface: frosted
Temper: dim
Snap: whimper
Aroma   8.4 / 10
Madagascan cacáo (of some possible Criollo lineage) visits the Agostoni family in Italy to meet Madagascan vanilla (the Bourbon variety no doubt) in a beguiling citrus-caramel with beautiful ylang & geranium overtones
Mouthfeel   12 / 15
Texture: Agostoni's strong suite: round, buxom lecithin
Melt: lackadaisical
Flavor   42.1 / 50
slow to release & slip the butter's crystal bonds... pine char (correct, not 'pine tar' but slight char; carbon roasting) -> vanilla caramel stuck in wax / butter -> dormant schisandra & juniper berries -> metallic streak stands-in for traditional Madagascar minerals (quartz / chert) -> latent & late citrus (vague lime) to both enliven & uplift this otherwise strange dullard -> cocoa nicely covers for a malingering metal
Quality   15.3 / 20
'Pine Mouth' is a bitter metallic aftertaste that develops a couple days after eating pine nuts. The condition can last for a few weeks after its onset.

Chocolate produced from Madagascar cacáo often possesses pine tones (pine wood, juniper berries, etc.). Agostoni accentuates in attempting to suppress them. No worries: the effect here wears off in minutes rather than weeks in a very modified version of it.

A Flavor that partially belies the Aroma for a Madagascar reduction that just levels rather than heightens the origin. Largely stripped of its bright upper register & debased to a more planar cocoa-caramel thanks primarily to a robust roast & generous buttering (probably in excess of the official CBS (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio) of 3:4:3. Vanilla, then, the ultimate facilitator driving this into a downward projection, & too much at that.

In the process this couverture roots an origin that often lacks firm foundational support of bottom notes. It accomplishes this, however, at the expense of what distinguishes the island's cacáo -- those fancy berries & citric flags -- resulting in a lack of definition & clarity.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla

Reviewed March 28, 2012


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