November 28, 2010

Valrhona Ampamakia 2010

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Written by: Stuart Robson

I always look forward to Ampamakia, or at least I have done for the last few years, and we are off to a good start here with a lovely red-brown colour and a finish one would expect from the world’s leading fine chocolate producer.

The aroma is very much in line with last year’s vintage, all on Madagascar’s typical citrus notes, only while many other examples of the origin may offer sharp and slightly acidic interpretations here it is sweet and supple. Oranges and ripe limes backed by something herbal that is somewhat difficult to pin down, there is tobacco leaf here too but it serves only to add a base note to the citrus.

A fairly sweet delivery on the palette and in many ways a perfect representation of the nose, heaps of citrus, this time with lime at the fore but with the orange never far away. Mirroring the nose still further there are herbal touches with light tobacco adding a little depth to what is a quite straightforward yet highly enjoyable profile. The finish here is perhaps a little flat, certainly more so than I remember in last year’s vintage, but it takes little away from what is a wonderful, slightly sweet and straight ahead take on the origin.

Another good year for Ampamakia it seems. There is something so charming and lively about this bar and while it has little complexity to speak of, it more than makes up for this in playful exuberance.

About the Author

Stuart Robson
Stuart Robson is a passionate foodie born in Scotland and based in Hertfordshire whose main expertise lies in the world of whisky and chocolate. He first began tasting fine chocolate in 2005 with Valrhona Manjari and has since developed a particular interest in single origin bars and a desire to highlight skilled cacao farmers and artisan producers all over the world. Stuart previously trained in Paris while working for a fine chocolatier, and has since become a reviewer for Seventypercent. He is still involved in freelance consultation for small companies working with bean-to-bar chocolate producers and chocolatiers.



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