Info Details
Country France   
Type Dark   (100%)
Strain Amelonado   (+ Criollo?)
Source Madagascar   (Nosy Bé)
Flavor Crossover   
Style Classic      
Upon its release many years ago, this Le 100 represented, for its time, the peak achievement for unsweetened chocolate. Since then it has fallen from grace. What follows is the original review. The rating reflects its updated state.

A crater lake filled with chardonnay & rosé, situated at high-altitude over an active volcanic vent shooting up acids & cloudy green gases filtered thru plenty of buttered buoyancy to float the Chocolate Ti-tannic... that sank to the bottom of the deepest permanent memories after melting the berg; then, putting the head in a sling, nursed by sheer, resonant, unhurried majesty. No small achievement in a world that now moves at broadband speed, saturated with pseudo & hyper-reality. Its ability to recruit the senses & imagination on a lasting chocolate vacation, so when it finally ends the world outside seems unreal. The dream is over: it has come true. If this were around, Eve never would've bitten into that apple & Eden would've remained open... forevermore... with all snakes only medicine, free from poison.
Appearance   4.4 / 5
Color: Darth Rust-ic (ebony orange)
Surface: Nosy Bé
Temper: windex
Snap: a killer lurking in the evil depths; sanded edge
Aroma   8.4 / 10
deep in the nose & manifold: Nosy Bé means 'scented island' & anyone stepping right off the plane at Fascene Airport gets greeted by balmy intermingled fragrances of ylang, sugar cane, cocoa, coffee, cinnamon, & vanilla which are intensely cultivated all over the island; each seems to make it into this bar... + grass, hay, grapefruit, pineapple, litchi (vibrant chardonnay scheme) back-ended by strawberry over pain au chocolat w/ dirt & frangipani tree roots dug in the ground
Mouthfeel   14 / 15
Texture: massive flesh; plump, voluptuous & curvaceous
Melt: engorgingly lush yards of bosom; irrigates by the finish
Flavor   43.9 / 50
chocolate frangipani just rips it under a berry bomb combo (straw & cran) -> big butter bandit runs-off w/ a lot of flavor only to return it later -> bread 'n cream rich enough from maternal breasts -> green grapes & litchis bubble up... green pineapple & grass too -> hits dirt bottom while holding its fruit force when the bar really starts blending beautifully, a picasette mash-up integrating a parallel stack adding walnut & mint -> at the very back a sustained chocolate wave whooshes & thunders across, spinning into a cyclone of hedonism... nothing but storm-tossed chocolarity all-around straight down to the lurking depths -> dries out to a walnut brownie -> ever deeper in the well vanilla & more frangipani; minutely astringent maybe... 45 minutes later
Quality   16.3 / 20
A ferment of sparkling clarity (clouded only initially in butter) matched to a semi-cool roast by Pralus standards, then a conche that keeps it tight, well short of stripping the acids. The sum formulation avoids those acid-bath blister kit FXs of Domori's nearby Sambirano 100%, but also lacks the strength of the Italian's Puro power blend, instead composed with fruited grace notes shockingly sweet & sustained; a rare combo of crisp with weight.

Almost nothing objectionable except maybe the French contagion: butter, which cuts-off some depth & scale affecting the bottom-to-top aspect ratio, though understandable considering this bar’s unsweetened nature. On the plus side, however, it yields a resonant, unhurried pace to the melt.

Pralus owns the plantation on which this cacáo will be harvested as of 2010, using genestock from São Tomé whose lineage tracks back to Brazil & perhaps Lake Maracaibo Venezuela. If so, & awaiting judgment of course on the taste of future harvests, it could be heirloom (which would confirm rumors of Criollo groves on São Tomé) further endowed by Pralus' own intimacy & knowledge of the source material - from seed & harvest to processing - of the highest order.


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