After many years of tantalising wait and vague suggestions that eventually a “Chuao” would be forthcoming from Domori, it at last arrives. (See http://www.domori.com/it/product.php?idProductLine=3&id=9)
Is it worth the wait? More importantly, can it be called “Chuao” – given that source plantation isn’t in Chuao, the village? Whatever it is, how will Domori do with it?
We’ll leave the technical definition to the lawyers, but as for the flavour profile, it’s convincingly similar to what you get from real-deal Amedei. Interestingly, Domori appear to have coaxed more power out of an already powerful aroma, and it’s lighter, too, with a strawberry/raspberry tone in addition to the usual molasses and blueberry hints. Something rubbery, though, is different, and this might be to do with the plantation, or the treatment – difficult to tell.
Initial flavour is virtual a carbon copy of Amedei’s, with strawberry/raspberry giving way to blueberry. However, soon, Domori’s distinctive cream/cheese style in the flavour appears, here rather like creme fraiche. There’s also a hint of roast nuts in the finish that you don’t get with Amedei. Domori as usual bests Amedei on the texture, too, which is incredibly smooth and dense.
Overall, the result is what you might think if you overlaid Domori’s different style on the same beans as Amedei’s Chuao. Is it a match for the Amedei? Perhaps not quite. Amedei has a style almost perfectly matched to the Chuao origin, so it’s not a surprise that the result is spectacular. This however, doesn’t make Domori’s chocolate less than great – it’s still a superb chocolate – I’ll put a review up shortly but it will probably come out about 9.0 or so overall. There’s a pleasing symmetry here: Domori’s style is a good match for Porcelana, hence their version is better than the competing Amedei offering. Now the 2 biggest names in Italian chocolate each offer the 2 (arguably) most glamorous varietal origins, swapping off to provide the definitive version. It’s nice to have that choice.
I might add, this introduction hints that the similarly long rumoured Guasare may at some point in the not-too-distant-future become fact. Stay tuned…