Saturday, 6 November 2010

Chateau Civrac 2006 Ganache Grapes by Paul A Young

Christine is actually making her own chocolate creations today so it has been left to me to review Paul Young's latest creations. I'm so lucky I get all the good jobs. Christine, I have to say that though your bars are very good these little beauties are in a different league. Well, after that remark I might have to forage for my own dinner tonight and I certainly deserve to go hungry! To a professional patissiere these creations are probably fairly straight forward, if not a little fiddly? If it was left to me I'd probably find it easier to build a spaceship than to construct something like this.

About: Chateau Civrac is a vineyard based in Bordeaux run by Mark Hellyar who champions the 'slow' approach to wine making, including hand harvesting grapes and minimizing chemicals used in the wine making process. I wonder if they still squish the grapes up using their bare feet? To quote directly from the website,  "Our wine is a classic blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot and malbec but made in a contemporary and honest style".

The Packaging: As always it is only about the chocolate when reviewing the marketing side of Paul's business. It's simple, straightforward and subtle. The purple ribbon just adds that touch of colour and in this case ties in nicely with the wine theme.

The Chocolate: It would be too easy to make fun of a 'bunch of grapes' theme and I promise that I'm not going to go down that route. Those over a certain age will probably remember your granny bringing out a box of liqueur chocolates at Christmas which was probably quite innovative at the time. So, I suppose this is how things have moved on, bringing fine wine together with excellent chocolate in the form of a ganache. Well I'm sorry granny I know which chocolate I'd choose. A 64% Madagascan dark chocolate has been used to create these exquisite chocolats amusants.

When you open the package there is not a hint of wine only a delicious fruit, chocolate aroma wafting up through the bag. The thinest amount of chocolate has been used to contain the ganache, producing a delicate crack as your teeth break through the chocolate casing. To obtain the best result from this chocolate I've left it out at room temperature for a few hours as it was sitting in our cold kitchen last night. I think it makes all the difference as the ganache has softened. As you bite into the ganache a rich sweet port wine taste comes oozing through and I have to say it is simply amazing.  

There is no faulting this chocolate apart from a few annoying holes where the chocolate has not run completely into the mould and therefore it get's a score of 9.5/10. But I say look beyond the holes and enjoy the flavours which are superb. At £3.95 each I can see many Christmas trees decked out with these lovely ornamental chocolates, just make sure they're high enough up the tree away from the dog and any small children that might investigate. When you buy them check out the Best Before date as mine were dated 27/12/2010. 

To buy these chocolates you'll need to visit Paul's shops click here for details. SHOPS 

Review posted by Richard.

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