Domori Sambirano Madagascar 70% 87.5/100

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Located in the north west of Madagascar, the Sambirano Valley is responsible for producing some of the fruitiest chocolate that you’re likely to taste.  Although these beans are supposed to be a trinitario and criollo hybrid, rather than pure trinitario, so have the possibility of some additional refinement. Once grown these beans are shipped to Turin to be processed by Domori’s dedicated chocolatiers.

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Madagascan cacao is notoriously fruity, something about the terroir imparts high flavourful acidity and for me I’ve come to associate Madagascar with big red berry flavours. With that said, I’ve noticed when the word criollo is mentioned in relation to this that there is an element of refinement that creeps in. With Domori’s style being more classical and refined, rather than wild and fruity, I’m not sure exactly what to expect. Upon opening the bar, the aromas ring true of Madagascan cacao, fruity and berry like, although there is a darker tone to them. To taste this is a more level version of fruity madagascan cacao, there are raspberries, but instead of zingyness or high acidity here we have some sour cherries and liquourice instead.

This is one of the more refined Madagascans I’ve tried so far, there is still acidity there and lots of ripe berries, they’re just less wild than I’d expected. Balancing and refining these flavours out, comes somewhat at a cost though, the flavours and terroir feel, while controlled, a little straight jacketed. Where there is room for more powerful acidity and bigger berry flavours the bar just seems to stop a little short. There is trademark Domori production here, but I just feel these skills are better applied to elegant and intense Venezuelan cacaos and not to the acidic and fruity terroir of Madagascar. This is a bar more suited to those that feel traditional Madagascan cacao is too fruity and wild and want something a little more paired down.

Ingredients: Cocoa mass, cane sugar

Appearance 8.5/10

Colour: Medium/dark brown
Texture: Smooth, dry
Mould: Traditional 4 piece Domori mould
Snap: Crisp
Temp/Shine: Matte sheen, consistent

Aroma 9.5/10

Intensity(0-10): 8
Notes: Rich cocoa, blackberries, raspberries, liquorice, jam, liquor
Quality: Fragrant, deep, dimensioned

Melt/Mouthfeel 8.5/10

Length: Long, thick
Evenness: Very even
Texture: Syrupy, creamy
Quality: Full, little heavy

Acidity 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Raspberry, blackberry, sour cherry
Quality: Uplifting, lightly sour

Sweetness 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Notes: Raspberry syrup, ripe fruit
Quality: Well developed

Flavour 9/10

Intensity(0-10): 7
Type: Sweet
Notes: Raspberries, sour cherry, red liquorice, double cream
Quality: Honest, refined

Length 8/10

Flavours are rounded, but a little short, feel refined but restrained

Finish 8.5/10

Notes: Raspberry, cream, cocoa
Quality: Raspberry acidity fades into cream and cocoa, leaving a slightly dry but creamy sensation to linger

Balance 9/10

Bar feels a little restrained and controlled, leaving it well balanced, heavy structure keeps bar together

Overall 8.5/10

Bar has good dimension of aroma and flavour, with some depth and complexity, structure is uniform and expression is honest while a little restrained

Domori’s Tasting Notes: Features unique berry notes accompanied by a pleasant acidity. A sweet, round, long-lasting flavour.

 

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