Stuart Robson: 9-Feb-2011
Interestingly the colour here is very similar to Amanoâ€™s expression of Chuao, red hints but with an overall impression of dull brown. The finish is all that can be expected from Domori however, flawless temper and snap but with a surprising amount of scuffing in shipping.
The aroma is very intriguing, firstly very un-Chuao, or is that just popular perception? Considerably more nut driven than expected with almond and macadamia at the fore before a clean thread of molasses with a distinctly anise back note appears. Some winey, fermentation like notes typical of Domori are on show alongside the distinctively Chuao blueberry note. There is just the faintest hint of rubber in the background, but it fails to detract.
There are more surprises on the palette with the initial attack being creamy and delicate.Â It doesnâ€™t take long until the blueberry builds however, and soon it is a veritable tide of blueberry and cream with hints of strawberry jam. It feels both classically Criollo and classically Domori but without the boldness often considered characteristic of Chuao- Â instead this is deeply elegant. Into the mid palette the flavours are remarkably sustained with only hints of macadamia, mocha and tobacco leaf pushing through the deeply chocolately, fruity and creamy wave. The melt fits the profile perfectly; being ultra slow, smoothÂ and incredibly thick it only exemplifies the sustained flavours and creamy profile. If one criticism could be levelled it is that the finish is maybe a touch short but this is nit picking in the extreme.
Here we have a bar that shares more traits with Domoriâ€™s Porcelana or Peurtomar than it does with the likes of Amedei/Pralus etc or even Amanoâ€™s take on Chuao. The appearance of some characteristically Chuao notes leaves little doubt as to the genetics but here Domori have chosen to produce a bar of the greatest refinement rather than in the quite acidic, intense style they sometimes employ with bars in their Cru line.Â I doubt this will be taken as the reference for Chuao, being as it is so much more creamy and mellow than we are often told these beans can be; there is little doubt however that this is a beautiful take on any variety.
Alex Rast: 11-Sep-2010
Out of the wrapper, the bar has the usual Chuao colour – that is to say, medium-red, and with the classic Domori finish that is near-perfect aside from perhaps a slight hint of bloom in the very corner. Shipping problems perhaps? No matter, though, the apparent bloom is a trivial imperfection, certainly not enough to ruin the entire bar. The aroma confirms this with the classic Chuao intensity, strawberry and raspberry along with molasses. Slight hints of rubber, perhaps roast walnuts, are a bit out of place though: is this the effect of the different terroir?
Very little of these later hints appear in the flavour, though, which is very raspberry and strawberry initially, before
moving to an archetypal blueberries and cream, with the distinctive Domori flavour overlay in a creme fraiche hint. The taste then progresses towards wine with a somewhat tannic, woody note, not atypical of Chuao. A slight hint of nuts in the finish hearkens back to the walnut of the aroma, but it passes as quickly as it appears. All in all it would be difficult to distinguish this from a “true” Chuao.
As usual for Domori, texture is exemplary, thick, ultra-smooth, and super-creamy. It’s remarkable how well Domori has done in imitating a chocolate from a distinct origin outside its original terroir. How, then, does it compare against the definitive reference from Amedei? A bit like the reverse position on the other “elite” chocolate: Porcelana. As most ardent chocolate-lovers will know, Domori originated the wave of excitement for Porcelana with their definitive flagship chocolate – which to this day remains the best of the numerous Porcelanas out there. Amedei came in with a distinctive and excellent alternative, that, if not perhaps quite as good as Domori’s, was still by any standard a superb chocolate. So it goes here. Amedei must still take the honours for the best, most representative Chuao around, but Domori offers an intriguing and worthy alternative.