Valrhona Gran Couva Dark Chocolate

Oooh! This is a wonderfully sweet dark chocolate that ticks so many boxes and will leave you wanting more. 64% cocoa generally is at the bottom of my range for luxury chocolate, I don’t typically go for anything much less than that, but I feel one the greatest sins in chocolate is not to try any chocolate that you’re offered because you don’t think you’ll like it. Chocolate is meant to surprise you, and this one certainly did.

The Valrhona 2009 Gran Couva has only just come on to the market and I’d say that 2009 is a great year for Valrhona. It’s made from Trinitario cocoa beans that were harvested only in 2009 at the San Juan Estate which is located in the central region of Trinidad.

I’ve tried the Valrhona Dark Chocolate Caraibe 66% Cacao which is from a variety of the Caribbean islands and thought it was a wonderful light-dark chocolate bar, but this Gran Couva 64% is a large step up.

The design just reminds me of the colonial influences the British have in the region. Both the packaging and the chocolate are refined, however, I’d say the flavours are a lot more flowery. There’s a definite cane sugar taste you’d expect from fine dark chocolate from Valrhona. It’s a very rich, punchy chocolate that perhaps would serve well as an introduction to luxury chocolate for someone that’s traditionally not willing to try the darker varieties.

The texture is also suitably smooth. The melt is divine and the flavours linger long after you thought they should fade away. I really do love this bar!


Taste: 95% – it truly an exceptional luxury chocolate bar.

Texture: 95% – its just like velvet, but so much more luxurious than that chocolate bar its makers is velvety.

Appearance: 90% – at last, a chocolate bar that has foil wrapping – the only way it should be. The design is also wonderful.

Nutritional Information: 70% – there’s enough there!

Price: 85% – It may be £3.55, but its worth every penny!

Overall: 87% – you should try it.

More Information:

More Reading:
* Small cocoa farmers on verge on extinction – Trinidad & Tobago Guardian – 24/05/09
* Britain’s chocolate connoisseurs driving market in estate-produced ‘vintage’ bars – The Independent – 22/03/08
* Official Site

p.s. Many thanks to Garry Rawlins for pointing out that I’d got the wrong estate!

Lee McCoy

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  • Lee,
    Ok thise Gran Couva is nice but not as nice as the Ampamaika 64% from the Millot Plantation on Madagascar(for me the best of Valrhona).
    Palmira 64% from Venezuela also one of my favorites.
    I do work with Valrhona for about 23 years now and I must say when I first tasted the Guanaja 70%(chez Wittamer Brussels 4 years service), was it the first time I really enjoyed chocolate. For thise reason I still love the Guanaja the most, kind of “nostalgia”.
    Geert Vercruysse