Lindy's Rating: 8.5
Richard's Rating: 8.5
Valrhona makes six dark chocolate bars in their Grand Cru line. One of these is Manjari, which is made with Trinitario cacao beans from the Sambirano valley of Madagascar. With 64% cocoa solids, Manjari is made from cacao beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, and natural vanilla extract.
Valrhona used its standard Grand Cru form for this thin 70 gram Manjari bar: a matte surface with a smooth floral imprint along with the Valrhona name. Asymmetric lines score the bar into 25 unevenly sized pieces. Black plastic enclosed the bar inside a black paper box. The best before date was June 2012.
The color of Manjari was an unusual medium Cocoa Brown (PANTONE 18-1222). The bar had a medium hard snap. This chocolate gave off aromas of berries, red fruit, orange liqueur, spice, earth, and woodiness.
Manjari initially tasted sweet, and then quickly released fruit flavors of berry, cherry, currant, and raspberry. A cocoa roast was also present, along with a vanilla flavor.
The melt of this chocolate was smoother than normal. After the chocolate was gone, the chocolate flavor lasted 35 to 40 seconds, giving Manjari a length on the far end of medium. The finish was very slightly acidic.
Manjari has won several awards over the years, including one of the Bronzes at the Academy of Chocolate's 2011 Awards.
UPDATE: As of 17 April 2013, in the U.S., you can purchase Valrhona Grand Cru Manjari online for $6.99 directly from Valrhona or for $5.65 from Chocosphere. In the U.K., you can purchase Manjari online for £3.39 from Chocolate Trading Co.