Info Details
Country France   
Type Semi-Dark   (70%; Lot No. LP7513308)
Strain Blend   
Source Peru   
Flavor Fruits & Flowers   (x Sugar)
Style Classic      
Andoa refers to the lost speakers of that language whose DNA now blends in with the Quechua of current-day Northern Peru.

The French, & Valrhona in particular, ever the ethno-botanists, pay homage to that & them in this bar fit for parkour -- that urban Cirque du Soleil of street squads teeming with nimble Philip Petits incorporating break-dance, gymnastics, contortionists, board tricks... all with just the wheels of their feet.

WIth Flavor accents & verses like this, Valrhona might revive the Andoa's glottal stops in an area also famed for its windpipes.
Appearance   4.9 / 5
Color: laid-back rosé
Surface: near perfect
Temper: matte cosmetician
Snap: piercing yet sweetly lilting
Aroma   7.8 / 10
oh, those riparian backwoods of Peru (perhaps the Rio Pastaza valley)… where flora & fauna drop their waste all over the place
punctuated by ground nuts for squirrels & other rodents
above the fray -- tobacco tea settles down into a hazelnut-cocoa spread
Mouthfeel   13.4 / 15
Texture: undifferentiated to a pulp
Melt: metric
Flavor   44.8 / 50
chocolate-hazelnut entrance... fine-lined sweetness beneath… grows into a juicy cherimoya -> white hot cane sugar sweet-spot, overhanging peach palm -> papaya & taperiba -> distant caramel the offshoot of Peru balsam, followed by an equally faint tree resin & treacle combo -> sets on a glorious apricot nectar -> firm but gentle cocoa tannin the aftermath
Quality   16.6 / 20
Remarkably, Valrhona's first foray in the divers wilds of Peruvian cacáo.

The specs: a "single-origin" blend gathered from 4 co-ops in various regions of Northern Peru. Such serves as transparency from the House of Valrhonic secrecy.

So be it. It intones Madagascar at the start whose island cacáo often finishes on hazelnut, which here closes up a succulent apricot more evocative of a good D.R.

Always studious & assiduous, Valrhona aligns carefully even though this lacks some ballast by the midpoint onward. An absence nicely occupied if not quite filled by a sweet continuum culminating in that, again, apricot flourish. The sweet swell so refined, at times subtle, then express. Bitter-sweet with an emphasis on the latter.

Valrhona…. a grand-dame still worth dating.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin; CBS (Cocoa mass / Butter / Sugar ratio): 3:4:3

Reviewed September 16, 2014


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