Country: Armenia Region: Vayots Dzor Vintage: 2018
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
"Zorik Gharibian planted six hectares of the native Areni grape variety in the Yeghegnadzor valley in southeastern Armenia in 2006, under the guidance of Italian viticulturalist Stefano Bartolomei. The vineyard is situated at an altitude of 1,370 metres, close to Mount Ararat and two kilometres from what archaeologists say is the oldest winery in the world, dating back 6,100 years.
Because of the area's isolation, the vines are ungrafted, as phylloxera has never reached this part of Armenia. The wines are made under the guidance of Alberto Antonini. ""I was struck by the superb conditions when I first visited the area"", says Alberto. ""The altitude gives cool nights and a long growing season, so we don't harvest until the end of October. It is very dry with intense sunlight and stony, low vigour soils. It is one of the most exciting projects I've ever been involved with.""
Voskì is made from equal portions of native varieties Voskéat and Garandmak. The grapes are planted on their own roots and are grown in an old village at 1,400 metres above sea level. The name Voskì means 'gold' in Armenian. The wine is unoaked and has a lovely intensity of perfume, great depth on the palate and lovely length.
"Yeraz means 'dream' in Armenian. It is the culmination of all our dreams to make a wine like this."" It is from centuries old bush vines grown at 1,600 metres above sea level. ""The high altitude and age of the vines gives more complexity and elegance,"" says Zorik. The wine is intense yet balanced, a wonderful example of a once lost world of winemaking.
Zorik is part of the seven million Armenian diaspora (there are just three million people living in Armenia). He was born in Iran into a family that had fled Armenia in 1915. His parents sent him to the Armenian school in Venice when the Iranian revolution took place. He stayed in Italy and built a successful fashion business that enabled him to pursue a passion and invest over €1 million in this project. The simple winery has stainless steel tanks, round cement tanks and some French and Armenian oak. Alberto, however, now prefers amphorae for ageing, as the polymerisation of tannins they facilitate ensures a supple and sinewy wine. Indeed, the word 'Karasì' means 'amphora' in Armenian."
Product Features: Sustainable;Vegan;Vegetarian
Winemaker: Alberto Antonini
Zorah have 15 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by mountains at 1,400 metres above sea level and only steps away from a 6,100 year old winery. The vineyards are situated in the small rural village of Rind in the heart of Vayotz Dzor, Armenia's quintessential grape growing region for quality wines. Long dry summers, with good sunlight and high daytime temperatures contrast with cool nights, encouraging a lengthy growing season. The soils are rocky and rich in limestone, helping maintain moisture for the vines during the intense summer heat. The indigenous vines are grown on ungrafted rootstock as the area is unaffected by Phylloxera.
The grapes were harvested by hand into small 15 kilo crates. After de-stemming, the grapes were gently crushed. Fermentation and maceration on the skins took place in concrete tanks with no epoxy lining. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally. The wine is aged partially in concrete tanks, partially in large untoasted wooden casks in order to soften tannins, but mainly in traditional Armenian amphorae (karas) of varying sizes which were sealed with wax and buried partially below ground to maintain a constant temperature. The wine was very lightly filtered before bottling, and spent a further six months ageing in bottle before release.
Bright ruby red in colour, this wine has complex aromas of red fruits, lightly spiced with an elegant toasted note. The palate reflects the exotic nose with hints of soft red fruits, dried mountain herbs and wild earth. Generous and soft with balanced, full-bodied structure and mature tannins before a long, evolved mineral finish.
Food Suggestion: Try with roast oxtail or Balinese smoked duck.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:13.5%