Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Michel Cluizel 1er Cru de Plantation Hacienda "Mangaro Noir"

Manufacturer: Michel Cluizel
Cocoa Content: 65%
Manufacturer Website
Rating: A-

Up for review today is a chocolate from French chocolatier Michel Cluizel. The Mangaro Noir is from the Mangaro plantation on Madagascar. The 1er Cru de Plantation line is a somewhat rare practice in chocolate making. While many artisan chocolatiers have been using cocoa from a single country or growing region, this line of chocolates is using beans from an individual plantation. With wines, this generally translates to an increase in quality. The question here is how this translates to chocolate.

The Mangaro Noir is mahogany in color with a hint of yellow-orange undertones. This bar has a rich chocolate flavor. There is a prominent maraschino cherry flavor of note. There are some mild nutty notes along with some peanut butter. A wide array of fruity flavors present themselves along with a moderate level of acidity. Citrus, berry and plantain notes are all present on the palate. Chewing the bar opens up sweeter fruit notes of apples and pears. The finish has cocoa with blackberries. The Mangaro Noir has a creamy, slightly thin texture along with a slight cooling sensation from the acidity.

Overall, I was quite impressed with the Mangaro Noir. There are a wealth of fruity undertones that are highlighted by just the right amount of acidity. While I don't know whether single plantation chocolate will begin to command as much attention as a Chateau Lafite Rothschild, it does seem to produce some quality results. I am looking forward to trying some more chocolates in the 1er Cru de Plantation line.

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