Discovering: Armenia Wine Company
If you read my post, “Discovering: Wine Tasting –Armenia Wine Company,” you will know that I took part in a virtual wine tasting with Janis Robinson. She had selected Armenia Wine Company’s Yerevan 782 BC Winemaker's Blend Areni/Karmrahyut, 2019 to be one of the wines for the tasting. However, due to transportation issues, this wine had to be replaced with Armenia Wine Company's Yerevan 782 BC Winemaker's Blend Kangun/Rkatsiteli, 2018.
I was curious to determine why Janis had originally chosen the Yerevan 782 BC Areni/Karmrahyut and tried to purchase it as soon as the virtual tasting was over. It was unavailable at a number of stockists, but I signed up to receive an email from Turton Wines to be informed when it was back in stock. On Monday 12th April, I received an email to say it was available, I put in an order for it, and it arrived a couple of days later.
The details about the producer and vineyards are already in my previous post, but for ease, I have repeated it here.
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, southwest 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 grapes 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.
2019 Armenian Wine Company, Yerevan 782 BC Winemaker's Blend
Type: Red Dry
Grapes: 65% Areni, 35% Karmrahyut
Region: Vayots Dzor and Aragatsotn regions
This wine is made of two indigenous grapes, Areni and Karmrahyut. They are manually harvested and fermented for two weeks at a temperature between 26°C to 28°C in stainless steel tanks. This is then followed by two weeks of maceration. In the glass, you get a beautiful deep ruby colour. On the nose, it is pronounced with aromas of dark cherries, pomegranate, and black pepper. On tasting, the dark cherries are prominent, but you can also detect raspberry, strawberry jam, and dried fruits. It has gentle tannins and great acidity. After tasting, I slightly chilled it, and it pronounced the acidity making it more vibrant. A few days later, as I had some wine leftover, I tried it again at room temperature. I was really surprised to get a very strong aroma of mango. Just to make sure I was not imagining it, I asked a couple of my family members to try it. Both of them, and without any prompt from me, also noted the mango. On tasting, we all agreed that the dark cherries were still prominent, but it also had notes of caramel.
As it was Greek Easter, we paired it with our manouri and bulgur salad. Manouri is a semi-soft Greek cheese made of sheep and goat’s milk. It is creamier and less salty than feta. We slightly grilled it on a griddle pan to give it some texture. The pairing was superb. I would have this combination again for an easy Sunday lunch.
I found this wine fascinating. It is definitely worth trying. It is an easy-drinking, flavoursome wine. It is great when slightly chilled or combined with food such as lamb or cheese. Please give it a go and let me know what you think.