Sur del Lago

by Franceschi
Info Details
Country Venezuela   
Type Dark   (60%)
Strain Sur del Lago   
Source Venezuela   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   
Style Classic      
The acronym 'SDL' could easily be shuffled by a dyslexic to re-appear as 'LDS' (for Latter Days Saints, aka the Mormon Church of Jesus Christ). 'SDL' on the other hand stands for Sur Del Lago, meaning 'south of the lake' in Spanish, although said dyslexic could also misconstrue it as part French & think 'sur' which means 'on', as in 'on the lake'. (Good God, accelerating globalism & globish makes the world ever more confusing.)

That wouldn't make sense though, would it?

'In the lake', 'by the lake' or 'around the lake'... now those all sound far more likely than 'on the lake' until realizing that Jesus & his merry band of apostle groupies might be up to their old Christian tricks again. Like walking on water. show more »
Appearance   4.3 / 5

very Domori-like mold (the Franceschi's erstwhile partner)... thin pour scored into quadrants
Color: red brick
Surface: brush stroked
Temper: matte
Snap: sound plank
Aroma   8.1 / 10
very 'closed' & excruciatingly mild: bone-charred sugar, White Chocolate, blanched almonds & young coconut water with just a dusting of laid back cocoa -> give it time however to revert to more traditional SdL... a flint stone grinding spices atop redden fruit (mamey sapote) emerges
Mouthfeel   12.4 / 15
Texture: shockingly firm for a 60%
Melt: time-lapsed
Flavor   46.7 / 50
reds right off the handle (mamey & cherry) afloat a feral chocolate broth (just excellence from the start) -> biscuit & dulce de leche beneath hook up with cocoa-mocha for a coffee pound cake (nice) -> superb commingling of all the preceding -> sugar oh-so-slowly, in keeping with the pace in the Texture, sweetens the package to crème brûlée / vanilla custard -> late surging cocoa fudge
Quality   18.9 / 20
Usually 40% sugar + 35% cocoa butter + 25% cocoa mass = quite the lightweight.

In this particular bar, such a meek percentage creates miracles: a 60% that punches well above its weight.

Seamless flavor integration & progression. The coherence, depth, & body between Texture & Taste almost unrivaled & certainly belies its 60% cacáo-content. It'd be instructive to sample the unsweetened liquor for how the Franceschis pulled off this legerdemain. However they did it, clearly they measured precisely.

A Sur del Lago so Felchlin-worthy in its repose (particularly the work that the Swiss chocolate makers performed on behalf of Idilio). As such, Franceschi trades a portion of this varietal's natural brilliance & phenol strength for a more relaxed, even reclined, pitch. Beautifully executed (dare say flawlessly).

Yet one more exemplar of why Venezuela remains revered.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter

Reviewed October 8, 2012


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