Madagascar Spring

by Szántó Tibor
Info Details
Country Hungary   
Type Dark   (70%; Spring 2012 Harvest)
Strain Hybrid   ("Malagasy Trinitario")
Source Madagascar   (Sambirano Valley; Millot Estate)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Rustic      
Flavor experiments abound in this microdomain.

Volker Lehmann's tray versus boxed fermentation methods in Bolivia presented by Zokoko.

Multiple starter cultures of Vicente Norero at Camino Verde tasted in the many Balaos to hit the marketplace.

Churning according to Friis-Holm's Chuno.

Coppeneur's conch trials; or the altogether unconched ones from Felchlin.

The various roasting levels highlighted by Fresco.

The list grows on…

And while plenty have introduced bars from different annual vintages, no one has so explicitly focused on harvests within the same calendar year. Here's a first: a box collection of Madagascar Spring and Autumn.

All part & parcel of the manifold tweaks that determine end flavor.
Appearance   4 / 5
Color: orange-zested brown
Surface: little buds & potholes sprouting about
Temper: semi-gleam
Snap: baby's breath
Aroma   8.9 / 10
darker hedonic than its autumnal counterpart... less fruit-amplified (just a mite citric) / more towards a fragrance line:
vetiver, vanilla, honeysuckle, & ylang over cedar & rosewood
Mouthfeel   12.5 / 15
Texture: authentic Szántó Tibor signed in powder
Melt: even tempo
Flavor   39.3 / 50
a wellspring of vetiver leads the charge to cedar & clove -> dim citrus (pineapple) hovers in the distance about an orange blossom -> astringency clinging to loam & frangipani
Quality   15 / 20
The companion piece to Szántó Tibor's Madagascar Fall. Their profiles as diametric as the seasons themselves from whence they were harvested.

Aroma foretells the Flavor here, & quite unlike the liner notes which accompany this box set that in reality apply to the Fall bar only.

Bertil Åkesson -- who knows a thing or two, times a thousand about Madagascar cacáo -- relates how productivity during Autumn far outstrips that of Springtime. It makes for superior production runs since plentiful cacáo can fill the fermentaries that need but a week to load one container. Contrast that with Spring when it takes 2 months which creates inconsistencies because cacáos will be pulled over a longer period from separate trees or groves. In short, Autumn is the best season, the fullest fermentation, & the more ideal drying conditions.

This Spring bar reflects Bertil's wisdom. It tastes stifled for Madagascar by comparison; thirsty for the fruit juices that irrigate the Fall release. The difference between Dark vs. Bright (hence the Semi-Dark categorization of the twin in this pair).

A premature chocolate in keeping with its season, awaiting the ripening of Summer unto Fall. Bravo to Tibor for fully realizing it.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter,

Reviewed January 20, 2014


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