Lindy's Rating: 7.0 (previously **)
Richard's Rating: 8.0 (previously ***)
Until I started this process of reviewing chocolates in general and tasted the Amedei Chuao in particular, the Valrhona Manjari had been my favorite chocolate bar. It's time to see how it holds up in my ranking of artisan chocolates.
Opening the wrapper unleased the Manjari's aroma, which was strongest of the bars we've tasted so far: mostly berry and a non-citrus orange, with some sort of floral scent in the background. The taste was mild, with a light currant flavor, and to me somewhat woody. Lindy found it slightly acidic.
What was remarkable about the Manjari bar was its exceptional melt. As this chocolate melted in our mouths, we both recognized it as the smoothest and creamiest texture of all the bars we had tasted.
For me the length was short, but Lindy could still taste the flavor 45 seconds after the chocolate was gone and rated it medium. Afterwards, both of us felt the post-chocolate finish was acidic. To me, it was quite mild, but to Lindy the acidic finish was unpleasant.
You can purchase Grand Cru Manjari directly from Valrhona for $6.99.
UPDATE: As of 17 April 2013, the best price I found for purchase online in the U.S. was $5.65 from Chocosphere. In the U.K., you can purchase Manjari online for £3.39 from Chocolate Trading Co. We also have a more thorough and recent review of Valrhona Grand Cru Manjari.