Discovering: Wine tasting - Armenia Wine Company
When I booked my ticket for the online FT Weekend Digital Festival Spring Edition, I was really excited to see that Janis Robinson had chosen Eastern European wines for the virtual wine tasting session
One of the wines in the tasting line-up was Armenia Wine Company’s Yerevan Winemaker's Blend Areni Noir/Karmrahyut 2016 however this had to changed due to transportation issues - see Janis Robinson's article "Eastern Europe adventures". Instead of an Armenian red, we tried Armenia Wine Company's dry white, Yerevan 782 BC Kangun/Rkatsiteli, Winemaker's Blend, 2018.
Armenia Wine was founded as a result of a joint venture by the Vardanyan and Mkrtchyan families. Starting in 2006, vineyards were planted in the Armavir region, south-west of Armenia. Two years later, the winery was built in Aragatsotn. The Chief winemaker is Grigor Alexanyan and the wine consultant is Jean-Baptiste Soula from Bordeaux, France. Armenia Wine products are divided into the following brands: Armenia, Yerevan 782 BC, Sevuk, Takar and Tariri.
Vineyards are located in the Armavir region which produces the main white variety Kangun and the French grape varieties Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, which are used to blend with Armenian grapes. In the Vayots Dzor region, the vineyards are located with altitudes of up to 1650 m a.s.l.. This region provides the iconic Areni grape, used for their red wines. From their vineyards in Armavir, Ararat, Aragatsotn and Vayots Dzor, they produce Armenian grape varieties Karmrahyut, Haghtanak, Voskehat, Tshilar, Garandmak, as well as grape varieties Rkatsiteli and Saperavi.
2018 Armenian Wine Company, Yerevan 782 BC Winemaker's Blend
Type: Dry White
Grapes: 65% Kangun, 35% Rkatsiteli
This wine is made with Kangun and Rkatsiteli grapes. The grapes are hand harvested from their vineyards at 1000 m above sea level. In the glass, you get a pale lemon colour. The label has describes the aromas being of "white flowers, quince, ripe pears and pears & peaches". I could detect white flowers and pears. On tasting, it had lots of flavours, green fruits, such as green apple, and citrus with excellent acidity. Janis Robinson said there was no sign of ageing and could probably be drunk next year.
This wine could go with lots of food such as chicken, fish or cheese. We tried it with spinach borek which I had made at home. Borek is made with layers of filo pastry filled with a mixture of spinach and feta cheese. The crisp freshness of the wine paired really well. Another idea would be to have the wine with mini-cheese boregs as an hors d'oeuvre or starter.
A wine to try. I will be buying another bottle to try it next year to see how it develops.