The Karas Classic Wines

Karas Classic White

The latest vintage is the 2016 Karas Classic White. The blend of grapes in this wine has changed to boost the level of Kangun in the blend and to remove the Rkatsitli. The result is a wine that better shows off its components. The Kangun forms the basic framework, but you clearly get some of the tropical fruit from the Chardonnay and the honeysuckle perfume of the Viognier. It’s a pleasant wine and goes well with light dishes.

Karas Classic Red Vertical

Karas Classic Red 2014 was introduced to the United States in 2016 and received favorable press. We decide to do a comparison of the 2014, 2015 and the newly released 2016 Karas Classic Red to check in this ubiquitous Armenian wine.

The 2016 Classic Red is made exclusively from European grape varieties. The 2016 is a blend of Syrah, Cot (Malbec), Cabernet Franc and Tannat. Gone are the Petit Verdot, Montepulciano and Khndoghni elements that made up the original blend. The wine has a nose of perfumed plums, on the palate the wine is well balanced which follows through on the finish. The Malbec is a new component to the blend in 2016, which combined with the Tannat has diminished the role of the Syrah in providing a darker element to the berry fruit.

The 2015 Karas Classic Red still retains its bright red color – it features citrus aromas and bright cherry fruit on the palate. The Petit Verdot, Montepulciano and Khndoghni components lend a little more complexity to this wine, particularly as it opened up to show more licorice and rounded tannins.

The 2014 remains the best of the three vintages. Good color with a balanced nose of dark berry fruit with woodsy notes. As the wine opened up it revealed surprising depths of fruit and spices. No signs of falling apart, but if you have some of the 2014 Karas Classic Red in your cellar, we recommend enjoying it this year.

Overall, the Karas Classic Red & White are well made wines that are good with food and are certainly representative of the quality of winemaking in Armenia.