Domori Porcelana 70% 90/100

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Porcelana or white criollo (different from white nacional) grows south west of Lake Maracaibo in the Venezuelan region of Zulia and is considered to be one of the best varieties of cacao. Domori have always been passionate about growing and preserving criollo cacao and so it’s no surprise that they obtained some Porcelana strains to grow at Hacienda San Jose. Porcelana beans grow white rather than the purple and brown hues we traditionally associate with cacao beans due to the absence of the flavonoid anthocyanin, which is responsible for the purple colour. This absence of anthocyanin is responsible for the lack of bitterness in fine white criollo chocolate, which makes it highly desirable in terms of flavour. This lack of anthocyanin and Porcelana’s ancient heritage come at a cost however, with ancient white criollo strains being susceptible to pests and disease, thankfully Domori have never shyed away from growing vulnerable, low yielding, but flavourful cacao strains.

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Having tried some bars of Porcelana before, I had some general expectations for this bar. Porcelana tends to be roasted light due to it being quite a delicate bean and has a generally shorter development time, which on top of its lack of anthocyanin makes this a particularly light style of chocolate. The Porcelana I’ve had, also tends to be very smooth in terms of mouthfeel, the smoothest I’ve ever come across, as well as having refinement and balance in bounds. In terms of flavour you can expect luscious soft red fruit flavours alongside some elegant chocolate notes. Pulling the bar out of the packaging I was a little surprised by how dark the bar was, expecting it to be a lot lighter, suggesting potentially a slightly longer roast than from bars I’d had previously. The aromas and flavours that came through, however were right from the heart of the red berry fruits I was expecting, leaning heavily on strawberries, I might argue more like strawberries than some strawberries I’ve had recently. As usual the bar was very smooth and elegant in its balance and thoroughly enjoyable to eat. By the end I was pretty fond of this bar, but I do have a soft spot for strawberry flavours and I just wished it had lasted a little longer and there was more of it.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Dark earthy brown
Texture: Smooth, clean, very little flake
Mould: Traditional 4 piece Domori mould, consistent
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte sheen, very consistent

Aroma 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 5
Notes: Chocolatey, fruity red berry jam
Quality: Rich, honest

Melt/Mouthfeel 9/10

Length: Soft and long
Evenness: Very even across the melt texturally
Texture: Super smooth with a little syrup
Quality: Silky smoothness

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Berry fruits
Quality: Uplifting, brightening, balanced

Sweetness 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8.5
Notes: Fresh strawberries and strawberry compote, syrup, honey
Quality: Very balanced, well developed, honest

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Type: Sweet
Notes: Strawberry, strawberry syrup, vanilla ice cream, rose, clotted cream
Quality: Honest

Length 8.5/10

Flavours stay the length and are consistent in length throughout, but are a little short

Finish 9.5/10

Notes: Strawberries, butter
Quality: Cleanly disappearing, whisper of strawberry lingers

Balance 9/10

Feels elegant in its balance and complexity, light and floaty under a short roast, all parts harmonising well

Overall 9/10

This tastes like a well developed bar with the flavour being brought out carefully, its elegant, but still retains depth, not the most complex, but successful in its simplicity

Domori’s Tasting Notes: It has notes of bread, butter and jam with an exalted smoothness

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