Info Details
Country France   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%; Batch Date 9/25/12)
Strain Amazon   
Source Peru   (Junín; Chanchamayo)
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (mainly the latter)
Style Classic      (almost stodgy)
A chocolate transmission that floors it by flowering in reverse... that is, from the fruit, to the bulbs, then the petals, finally the bud... until a recombinant stroke bursts it all back together in a blooming bouquet
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: another creamy blushing from Morin but even more red... vermillion brown
Surface: pocked & blemished all over
Temper: bristling
Snap: short fuse
Aroma   7.5 / 10
brine, biscuits, & buttermilk
yes, as if cured in brine rather than fermented pulp (though the slightly sour buttermilk hints at that)
settles in & the biscuits roasted by wood briquets
wheezes out berries
Mouthfeel   13.4 / 15
Texture: friction-free... even with astringency
Melt: timeless
Flavor   45 / 50
opening bang of bone-crushing chocolate (alas, fails to last) -> embeds a royal fruit spot, very red, teasing on vinous, a currant then more toward dried papaya -> gradually unfolds fresh citrus squared (tangerines, pineapples, pink grapefruit, & tops out at passion fruit) -> perfuming petals, idealized as orange blossoms -> backdrop stringency -> full blown fragrance counter at Barney's & Bergdorf's COMBINED -> juices out to a hi-brow Shasta soda fountain -> fresh coffee berry (no bean) at the back
Quality   17.8 / 20
A garden hose of a chocolate floral spray propelled by a rear power wash of stringency that never grips / never puckers.

Highly expressive floral essences; among the most flowered-fruit bars to date (excluding falsifiers; then again, with starter cultures, yeasts, bacteria, inoculum, etc., what isn't anymore?).

From the so-called 'jungle-eyebrow', its geography a mixture of mountains & rainforest. Utterly revealing of Peru's stratonimbus mists; even greater altitude than Fortunato No. 4. Not since Josef Zotter's Naked bars has Peru been so -- especially his from nearby Satipo across the mountains.

Flavor-wise however Chanchamayo tastes closest to Apotequil farther to the south. But where that lifts into citric heights before descending into some Earthen depths, this stays aloft throughout. The 2011 Chanchamayo harvest was more grounded than this 2012, which shows the effect of vintage on chocolate.

Aged, stately, fragile... far from great, suspended in a state of grace however with a special redeeming feature, a unique note (or notes of a common refrain). The kind that certain choc-tongue gurus swoon over (Nubé but one example).

Morin chooses to treat this cacáo with deference commensurate with its delicateness. Modest roast, gentle lapping of the conch. Results in a structurally diffusive piece which holds well together in those vaporous highs. As such, this presents problems for Franck Morin who confides that he thinks it's too acidic. But should he manage somehow to sustain that front chocolate bang, this would vie for supreme paramount status. It actually might benefit from a very light swipe of vanilla to extend the front frame of baseline cocoa.

If Oialla from neighboring Boliva is a 'feminine chocolate', & the aforementioned Fortunato 'girlie', then Chanchamayo could be the original baby's breath of cacáo..

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Reviewed April 25, 2013


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