On June 16th, Krush! Sponsored a tasting at the EVN Wine Academy (EVN) of Armenian wines made from the Areni grape. EVN assembled a team of thoughtful, articulate graduates determined to give these wines their rigorous evaluation. We picked some of the most sought after Areni wines and also included a highly rated Sangiovese Chianti Classico from Italy and one of our favorite Oregon Pinot Noir’s from the U.S.A. in the mix to keep the panel on their toes. Here are the results*:
#6 2012 Fèlsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia (85-88 points)
#5 2012 ArmAs Areni Reserve (86-89 points)
#4 2014 Zorah Karasi Areni (87-90 points)
#3 2014 Yacoubian-Hobbs Sarpina Areni (89-92 points)
#2 2012 Cameron Abbey Ridge Pinot Noir (91-94 points)
and the favorite wine in our tasting was:
#1 2014 Voskevaz Karasi Collection Areni (92-95 points)!
Most of our tasters correctly identified the Fèlsina as the Sangiovese in the mix, singling it out as the wine with the flavor profile most out of line with the others. Quite a few also identified the Cameron Pinot Noir as the other non-Areni wine, but this Pinot Noir (the sweet cherry/blackberry fruit with the notes of herbs and spices) was more closely aligned with the Areni wines.
All of the Areni wines showed well, but the Voskevaz was extraordinary. A deep red wine with a powerful nose of cherry cola and spicy oak, it kept developing in the glass and followed through on the palate. A very hard glass of wine to put down and a statement of the potential of the Areni grape.
While this is a very select sample of Areni wines, it’s clear to us that Armenia has a unique grape in Areni that is capable of making world class wines.
*EVA uses a 20-point scale for their evaluations. We translated these scores to their approximate equivalents in the US 100-point system.