Info Details
Country Italy   
Type Flavored   (Hazelnuts; 38%; Lots #NFG9.05)
Strain Nacional   
Source Ecuador   
Flavor Crossover   (Sugar dominant)
Style New School      
Descendants of the ancient Marsi inherited the character of those hardy mountain people in Central Italy along Fucine Lake, famed for simple habits & indomitable courage. The cornerstone of the Roman forces, historian Appian of Alexandria said that Rome never triumphed over them nor without them. They were also renowned for their magicians.

Gianluca Franzoni aka ‘Mack Domori’ would fit right into the glorious lineage starting with Angita – their goddess of healing who practiced witchcraft using herbs gathered from the Marsian woods. She could tame evil spirits with incantations or cure snakebites thru touch alone.

The texture on this bar might have the same effect.

And the Flavor? As fertile as the plains now from where the Lake was drained.

Lingering, sultry Italian craftsmanship to the very end.

The single best Dark Gianduja on the market? Could be.

Thank you, Domori; may we kiss your magic decoder ring?
Appearance   4.7 / 5
Slick, Stylish, Clean & very Bertoni packaging: perfect floppy-disk size. Italians just get how to make business look sexy. Soft matte gloss box w/ warm chocolate hues & impressive gold relief accents. Then nice repeat matte gloss inner mylar wrap. Beautiful design.
Color: sable brown w/ amber
Surface: smooth plate / clean embossing; fine lines & visuals matched with lithe physique
Temper: industrial paste
Snap: mix of resistance & subsonics; coarse edge
Aroma   9.4 / 10
perfect pitch hi-range aerodynamics: rich golden mink filberts rolling along beautiful chocolate bluestone & soft tall oak -> golden beets too; so heady on the high notes… inhale that cacophony & catch a legal buzz, (no kidding….give it try); so promising the way great Gianduja should be, flush w/ anticipation... a lucid dream on command; can virtually taste this baby before the first bite - a scent so profound to excite the taste buds before they actually touch it
Mouthfeel   13.3 / 15
Texture: initial tractor stick 'n pull but self-corrects to supple yield under the teeth for spot-on velvet & cashmere
Melt: after that sluggish but steady start – voluptuous with exceptional dispersion across the palate
Flavor   46.1 / 50
opens unbalanaced in favor of Alpine nuts against underpowered chocolate: a huge wash of an aggressive sugar front over ambrosiac hazlenut spread (cocoa a background actor) -> wispy fruit in the deep recesses, the annoucement to more pronounced chocolate & its butter generating a delicate back-lit cream tone trading w/ hazelnut oil as the latter, in a tremendous crisscrossing action, expresses cacáo’s complements of cotton candy fruits flavored in soft blackberry ‘n tangerine, grape, honeysuckle + chiclet gum -> bookends on pure hazelnut-chocolate confluence
Quality   18.9 / 20
Unprecedented. Benchmark it. A “Dark” Chocolate gianduja of unusually low cacáo-content, at a percentage most suited for Milk Chocolate. Then, again, this is Domori whose philosopical slant bends a little differently. And why he never ceases to amaze & surprise; always experimenting, reaching for the new without altogether abandoning the tried & true.

A classic reinterpreted that goes against the more traditional pairing. More lean than Milk Choc versions seen in Venchi or the towering Bessone but plenty rich enough - especially the Piemonte filberts - & without Milk a far cleaner Flavor as cacáo, even at a meager 38%, can more than holds its own without any dairy obstruction.

Still, contrary to the liner notes, this Gianduja emphasizes components slightly less than the success in joining them together so nicely (once it gets past that sugar-high of an alerting start) so by the time it melts, each moderating the others, with vanilla the quiet force tying it all together whence it becomes hard to separate/differentiate flavors -- & where they come & go. So well syncopated, the flavor eventually balances out so fine, the texture so perfect, the quality of ingredients & craft so stratospheric.

None of the pitfalls to 90% of the Gianduja wannabes: no heavy-handed soy to keep this bound, no clunky melt, no poorly-ground / over-roasted / low-quality hazelnut paste, no separated / rancid oils or tooth-hurting sugars….just a symphonic cadre of chocolate.

Well-husbanded cocoa mass blended with beautifully hi-quality Gianduja. All these 900-pound hazelnut gorillas crushed with an alchemist’s hand to yield this assertive, ultimately balanced / harmonized bar.

But this is a site for chocolate critics so to end on a nitpick: a skooch too heavy on the sugar, would like a stronger vanilla note to bring out the chocolate back &/or increased cacáo-content but, hey, those who can’t be Domori get to kibitz in their reviews.

ING: sugar, cacáo butter, hazelnut paste, cocoa mass, vanilla, soy lecithin

Reviewed Autumn 2010


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