Reviews

January 28, 2011

Valrhona – Ampamakia 2010 – review – Martin Christy

More articles by »
Written by: Martin Christy

Ampamakia has always been a personal favourite – the typical citrus notes of Madagascar always appealed to my palate. Added to Valrhona’s fruity acid style this makes, for example, Manjari almost always a winner.

Ampamakia takes this further, and for some years the result is pure lime cream bliss, with some criollo chocolate undertones. This was the case in the early vintages up to about Around 2006 and again in 2009. The latest crop doesn’t quite make it, dropping off towards the end, but is still at the top of the pack when it comes to Valrhona chocolate.

Ampamakia 2010 - unwrapped bar

Ampamakia 2010 – unwrapped bar

The look is light burgundy/brown. Not the lightest roast, but could easily be mistaken for a dark milk. The moulding of course up to Valrhona’s typical quality. (Helped by the soya lecithin and Valrhona’s super-sized production).

On the nose this is very clean, typically criollo with dusty cocoa, cream and hints of the lime intensity to come. Also typical is the low liquorice/dark fruits/light tobacco undertone that’s usually around in a Madagascar. Ampamakia does it better than most though.

Valrhona - Ampamakia 2010 close up

Ampamakia 2010 close up

The taste is a journey with lots of promise, rising lime and cream, mango, apricot, hints of cinnamon, deep chocolate. The acid is just a little overdone though, like a balsamic that will be better with a few more years maturing, which really comes out in the third act.

This leaves the length going into sugared grapefruit rather than sweet lime. Still good, but the 2009 was everlasting lime delight. Perhaps there’s just a little over-fermentation of the cacao this year. Finally, after 30 seconds, there’s devon cream left on the tongue.

There’s a lot of cocoa butter here, so the chocolate is verging on glutinous, and also there’s the ‘dust’ effect that seems to come with criollos, but on the whole the melt is warm and delivers an overall chocolate tone – with a hint of toast – very well.

I long for the 2009, but 2010 is still a pretty good substitute.



About the Author

Martin Christy
Martin Christy is Seventy%’s editor and founder and is a leading voice in the chocolate industry, promoting the cause of fine chocolate and fine cacao and those who produce them. With twenty years’ experience of fine chocolate, he has travelled extensively visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. Martin is Judging Director of the International Chocolate Awards, which he founded in the UK with Kate Johns of Chocolate Week. He is also Acting Chairman of the new fine cacao and chocolate industry association, Direct Cacao and is a member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Tasting Panel. He is also a freelance writer about fine chocolate, contributing to UK magazines and several books about fine chocolate.




 
 

 
ChocolateTreeMadagascarraw7090gcropped

The Chocolate Tree – Madagascar Raw 70%

The Chocolate Tree ventures boldly into territory formerly almost the exclusive domain of Pacari with a raw chocolate that one has reason to believe may be classified as “fine”. It’s even more refreshing to se...
by Alex Rast
2

 
 
Askinosie Del Tambo Ecuador 70pc & nibs enrobed Cru Sauvage Bolivia Felchlin

Directly Traded collection from Geert Vercruysse

Belgian chocolatier Geert Vercruysse creates a unique collection of ganaches using directly traded chocolate, just in time for the birth of new industry organisation, Direct Cacao.
by Martin Christy
1

 
 
Ecuador8290g_cropped

The Chocolate Tree – Ecuador 82%

Scotland joins the club of bean-to-bar countries with this (and other) chocolates from interesting micro-producer The Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh. This is a new experiment for a company previously involved in confectionery and ...
by Alex Rast
3

 

 
chuno-db_scaled

Friis-Holm – Chuno Double Turned

The other half of the Chuno pair from Friis-Holm, which plays the very interesting game of asking by way of practical experimentation what differences in fermentation might do. Like the Triple Turned, this explores an entirely ...
by Alex Rast
1

 
Seventy% supports the International Chocolate Awards
 
RedStarOcumare72

Red Star Chocolate – Ocumare 72%

After a long hiatus, during which Red Star was apparently tinkering with their process, Duffy returns with a revised Ocumare dark. A well-known but highly-reputed origin is an obvious place to start after process changes, and t...
by Alex Rast
0

 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Latest reviews

  1. The Chocolate Tree – Madagascar Raw 70% Alex Rast, 15 Jun 2013
  2. The Chocolate Tree – Ecuador 82% Alex Rast, 14 Dec 2012
  3. Friis-Holm – Chuno Double Turned Alex Rast, 3 Dec 2012
  4. Friis-Holm – Chuno Triple Turned Alex Rast, 18 Nov 2012
  5. Chapon – Chuao Alex Rast, 18 Nov 2012

@Seventypercent Twitter feed

Search site