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Today we are going to review a wine that we were searching for quite some time and at long last we’ve got one for the review – Karasì 2018 by Zorah. This is a single-varietal wine, made from areni noir grapes, which is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world – it has been present in Armenia for at least a millennia. Areni Noir is an indigenous variety that originates from the town of Areni, located in south Armenia and due to its geographical isolation, this grape variety has never been grafted, because it was never affected by phylloxera. The thick skins protects it from the summer sun and the harsh continental climate of Vayots Dzor region. The wines made with areni noir are usually light colored, with high natural acidity and soft tannins, with a nuanced earthy-rustic accent and are often compared to pinot noir and sangiovese. Areni Noir gained international fame when Zorah Karasì was featured in the list of Bloomberg’s Top Ten Wines of 2012. This particular wine is made of grapes that are sourced from a stone-filled vineyard situated at 1400m altitude, with sub-alkaline sandy soils that are rich in limestone and large stones. The cuttings for the vines come from an ancient abandoned vineyard of a nearby 13th century monastery and has been planted on their own roots. The wine fermented exclusively on wild yeasts in concrete vats, then it has been aged for at least 12 months in traditional armenian karas clay amphoras, with some of them buried in the ground, each giving their own unique nuances to the wine they contain. After a very light filtration, the wine is bottle aged for another six months. That said, without further ado, let’s take a look at the wine tasting results.
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:
fruit profile: red fruits | blue fruits
__red fruits: red currant | cranberry | sour cherry | wild cherry
__blue fruits: blue plum | blueberry
fruit character: ripe
non fruit: spice | animal | earth
__spice: red pepper | nutmeg
__animal: iron | veal | leather | game | musk | capocollo
__earth: brown soil dust | compost | dried leaves
aroma: primary | secondary
sweetness: off dry
body: round | medium
fruit profile: red fruits
fruit character: ripe
non fruit: animal | earth
aftertaste: velvety & crisp
maturity: youthful | on the rise
verdict: great | a must try
This is definitely a great wine of Armenia and, with a total of 92.0 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.
Verdict: this is a very fine and delicate wine indeed – fruity-savory, velvety and rustic – a wine that is still too youthful, as it has yet to reach the summit of its prime form, thus one that requires 2 or 3 more years of bottle ageing. This is a rich and quite expressive wine, as it tastes lean, with a touch of alcoholic warmth on the mouthfeel – a wine that maybe lacks just a bit of structure. With fine-grained tannins, mouth-watering acidity and a crisp finale, this is a fine example of how a terrior-driven wine can be crafted using tradition and technology. It feels supple, plump and round, with a medium, slightly opulent body and a noble mixture of ripe blue and red fruits and some very nuanced rustic flavours. This is definitely a wine that has both, distinctive personality and the footprint of the Vayots Dzor terroir.
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