Grand Cru de Plantation
Origine São Tomé

by Diogo Vaz
Info Details
Country São Tomé   
Type Dark   
Strain Amelonado   (+Hybrid)
Source São Tomé   
Flavor Crossover   (Naked x Earthen x Spices / Herbs)
Style Classic      
Ever since João Baptista da Silvade Lagos, the Portuguese governor of São Tomé in the early 1800s, the volcanic soils of this island "embraced" cacáo on a series of roças (estates).

Diogo Vaz, a Bud-to-Bud™ social enterprise (cacáo flower buds to human taste buds) ala Claudio Corallo on neighboring Príncipe Island, continues the tradition (sans the serviçais or forced labor / de facto slaves). Its activities forge a roças-cum-community center by supporting around a thousand people pulled in from 4 villages surrounding the property. On site, Diogo Vaz provides schooling (K-thru-8), a medical clinic & a church.

Chocolate can do all that, drawing people together. Pretty tight knit.

The power of cacáo.
Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: big "antho" (for anthocyanin); the Trinitario bar a shade lighter
Surface: stylized geometric mould

Temper: demi-burnished
Snap: amplified
Aroma   8.6 / 10
Grand Cru de Plantation (Amelonado; 75% cacáo-content; Lot-Batch GCP-18-001)
huge African hardwoods
animal musk blown off by both marine & forest oxidation

Unroasted (Amelonado; 70% cacáo-content; Lot-Batch UNR-18-001)
those woods in the Grand Cru (above) not petrified but somehow caramelized along with more (green) foliage & air

Origine São Tomé (Amelonado; 65% cacáo-content; Lot-Batch OST-18-001)
Transmutes all the above toward a caramel-mud + ocean spray muskmelon

Trintario (Hybrid; 75% cacáo-content; Lot-Batch TRI-18-002)
animalistic -- foraged -- meaty
Mouthfeel   12.9 / 15
Texture: lecithin-swollen
Melt: extended
Flavor   45.7 / 50
Grand Cru de Plantation
heavy lumber cocoa so resounding of West Africa, in a cedar-clove closet -> cookie wafer / breadfruit -> sweet cream -> baobab -> light black cherry -> bitter back -> black vanilla -> pretty clean (i.e., non-gripping / non-astringent) release

brown sugar -> cookie dough flirting with graham crackers (cinnamon chocolate chip) -> late faint baobab -> cocoa-marshmallow finish

Origine São Tomé
comes on cherry with hard wood in support -> brown sugaring FXs sweeten the fruit compound & quell the acrid component -> dirt chocolate (of the good Earth variety) -> small acid at the back (interpreted as pink grapefruit) -> falls out to a timberful of fudge brownie

flash tobacco before confirming the Aromatics with portobello-sirloin FXs -> settles into creamed biscotti & hugs it until closing off a balsamic bramble
Quality   18 / 20
São Tomé embodied & personified in chocolate. All the bars deliver on the terroir.

For a measure of how indelible these volcanic soils can imprint themselves, even the Unroasted transports to/from there. Yes, a quicker / shorter length for sure thanks to zero Maillard reactions. Well processed & redolent nonetheless. One of the best "raw" chocs around.

Diogo Voz... a faithful representative of the legacy which may become the future island standard as it furthers its venture.

INGREDIENTS: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin

Reviewed May 29, 2019


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