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New Malagasy bars : reversal of fortunes?
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Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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January 11, 2007 - 12:12 am
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Of course if you read the review section you'll know my opinion of the 2005 vintages, which I can summarise as: Mora Mora, good but needed work, Sambirano: awesome if not exactly typical of the bean.

Well, having now tried the 2006 vintages I can say the results are COMPLETELY different. The Sambirano 2006 was really a major disappointment, all woody and harsh. Last years' had, I think, been roasted fairly heavily, and perhaps Malagasy thought they might tweak the bar by lightening up on the roast, which they certainly appear to have done, but the net result was only just short of disastrous. It reminds me a lot of Valrhona's Ampamakia 2002, another effort that just didn't cut the mustard. Malagasy should really have stuck with their darker roast - when you've already got a proven success, it's important to resist the urge to tinker.

But the Mora Mora bar, which did need tinkering, has been as much of a dramatic improvement as the Sambirano was a let-down. This is a wonderful rendition of a Madagascar, very soft, very feminine, a truly "beautiful" bar if I may say so. It's got the same blueberry suggestion as Guittard's and an awesome chocolatey finish very reminiscent of last year's Sambirano. I'll have a more complete review soon. When I first saw that it got a silver in the AoC awards this year I was skeptical but now I see why. In fact, the bigger mystery is why it didn't garner a gold.

Obviously Malagasy is an evolving, experimenting company. In their first production year I wasn't expecting anything revelatory and the Sambirano really was a happy surprise. This year they've managed to get the same sort of surprising outcome as last with a Mora Mora which is perhaps even better than last years' Sambirano. However, the flip in quality is a bit deflating. I get the suspicion that the 2007's will be more evenly matched and probably better as a group but that neither bar will be great, merely excellent, and that would be a loss, at least IMHO: I feel that one great chocolate and one decent chocolate is a better result than 2 excellent chocolates.

Who else has managed to try the Malagasy 2006's?

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
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Chrissie
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January 11, 2007 - 1:25 pm
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Alex,

It's great to hear your opinion of the new vintages by Malagasy. I picked up a bar of the Mora Mora a couple of months ago and was pleasantly surprised by just how good it was too.

This was the first time I had tried any Malagasy chocolate and I must admit from the review in chocopaedia of the 2005 Mora Mora I hadn't expected it to be that great. I was wrong, it's a gorgeous chocolate, beautifully soft and delicate and definitely one of my favourite Madagascans, perhaps second after Amedei.

Although I generally like madagascan chocolate, I can find some a little too tart or too sweet but this one is gentle in it's fruitiness and almost milky. This allows a good chocolate flavour to shine through without being smothered in acidity. I suspect a good deal of extra cocoa butter has been added to this chocolate to soften and smooth out the flavour as it also has a lovely smooth soft melt. However, this has not been to it's detriment and is in fact preferable to me than the higher sugar content Valrhona uses to balance out the high acid notes in ampamakia and manjari.

I got so carried away with the pleasure of eating the bar that I forgot to save some for a more thorough analytical tasting. It's definitely on the list for my next chocolate order. Probably 2 so I can have one for simple eating pleasure too.

I also plan to do a side-by-side madagascar tasting around the 70% mark including Mora Mora, Amedei Madagascar, Domori Madagascar and Pralus Madagascar which should be interesting.

Alex - How do you rate the Mora Mora in comparison to other Madagascan chocolate?

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Alex Rast
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January 11, 2007 - 4:18 pm
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quote:


Originally posted by Chrissie

Alex,

It's great to hear your opinion of the new vintages by Malagasy.
...
Alex - How do you rate the Mora Mora in comparison to other Madagascan chocolate?


#1: Amedei
#2: Lindt Madagascar 65%
#3: 2006 Mora Mora
#4: 2005 Sambirano

2005 Mora Mora and 2006 Sambirano are far down the list.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
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New Malagasy bars : reversal of fortunes? | Fine chocolate bar discussion | Forum