A strong chocolate center with dark sugar and wood notes, light acidity and floral notes, underpinned by a pleasant walnut astringency.
Most of the cacao farms in the Duarte cluster are located very close to San Francisco de Macorís, the province’s capital. This was the birthplace of Héctor José Rizek Llabaly, the company’s patriarch, who still lives there. It is where his company has created CETICO, the world’s largest cacao processing plant. Wet organic cacao (cacao en baba, with the seeds still embedded in the fresh pulp) from all over the country is fermented and dried here according to more than 40 recipes tailored to specific clients and projects like Rizek Essentials.
The cluster is home to three of the origins in the Rizek Essentials collection, Los Bejucos and El Ramonal with their own Denomination of Origin since 2012, and Duarte. There are noticeable flavor differences among the three, the combined result of variations in terroir and rigorously precise, detailed processing at a centralized location that excitingly brings out what is unique to each origin.
Soil & geographical features
Tropical rainforest. Clay loam soil. Eastern end of Cordillera Septentrional (mountain chain running parallel to the north coast of the Dominican Republic).
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