Review: Domori – Sambirano Madagascar 70% (****)

After spending a while in the American and Canadian Artisan scene, we head back closer to my home today and return to Europe.
In front of me lies a pretty little box stamped with a name that sounds like a bell. Domori. Welcome to Italy!

Domori takes us away from the micro-batch producers and welcomes us in the world of the bigger players. Domori is part of the Illy group (yes, the same people behind the well-known espresso brand). Their factory is based in None, neat Turin and concentrates in the production of high quality chocolate with an Italian touch. They are a chocolate company who made the bold choice not to use Forastero beans, like most do, but rather fine cacao such as Criollo and Trinitario. Domori even owns their own plantation in Venezuela. The ultimate goal is to produce quality, not quantity. I’m excited to experience if their approach can bring out the real tastes out of these fine cacao’s.

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This little bar looks very luxurious. The box has a spectacular clean design, both high-end and very minimalistic. There is little chance of making a mistake in the origin of the cacao. Even more prominent than Madagascar is the Sambirano region, known for its high quality, high flavoured cacao beans. Opening the box reveals a deep red blister protecting the chocolate itself. The color and feel add to the feel of luxury. No one will mistake this for some bulk chocolate.

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The bar follows the same design line of the package. Clean, stylish and minimalistic, yet very beautiful. Four equal pieces hug each other in a perfect square bar. Opening the blister reveals a striking aroma, hard to resist.

Bean: Not mentioned – but should be Trinitario
Origin: Sambirano valley, Madagascar
Production: Domori – None, Italy
Price paid: $ 3,20  – 25g ( 1001 Sense – Munich Germany)


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Color: A pretty dark brown, slightly reddish

Aroma: Roasted nuts, gorgeous chocolate, sweet cacao, warm spices, vanilla

Taste: Immediate after taking a piece in the mouth, roasted nuts and coffee, slightly peppery tones come to front. Do I detect some marzipan there for a second? Neatly followed by a vanilla touch and lots sweet red fruit the aroma takes a little curb. Raspberry and red currant predominate. The chocolate remains light on the palate and offers a super smooth melt and über velvety texture. Lots of fantastic chocolate indulges the senses. The aroma stays fresh during the melt and tiptoes over the tongue releasing more red fruit mixed with just enough spices and tannins to give a great depth to the aroma. The aftertaste loses the fruits and develops great smoky, spiced aromas lingering for a prolonged time.
The overall experience is light, fruitful and very pleasing. Perfect balance between body and flavor, sweetness and a superior texture. One can’t help but be drawn into the experience.

This Italian view on high quality chocolate is pretty different from the American bars I tasted to far, offering a far lighter aroma, with less pronounced tannins and a texture that can only be described as silky. Simply amazing to experience the different views of chocolate makers around the world. Don’t miss this little gem when it crosses your path.

One thought on “Review: Domori – Sambirano Madagascar 70% (****)”

  1. Domori fan here! Sadly, I haven’t been able to try this one & now the luxury import supermarket that used to carry a small Domori assortment here has closed down completely DD: Domori are finding out if they’re retailed anywhere else here though so fingers crossed. Have you tried their new donkey milk chocolate? That sounds CRAZY

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