Zorik Gharibian planted six hectares of the native Areni grape variety in the Yeghegnadzor Valley in south-eastern Armenia in 2006, under the guidance of Italian viticulturalist Stefano Bartolomei. The vineyard is situated at an altitude of 1,370 metres, close to Mount Ararat and two kilometres from what archaeologists say is one of the oldest wineries in the world, dating back 6,100 years. Because of the area’s isolation, the vines are ungrafted, as phylloxera has never reached this part of Armenia. The wines are made under the guidance of Alberto Antonini. “I was struck by the superb conditions when I first visited the area”, says Alberto. “The altitude gives cool nights and a long growing season, so we don‘t harvest until the end of October. It is very dry with intense sunlight and stony, low-vigour soils. It is one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever been involved with.”
This wine boasts aromas of spiced red and dark berries, dried herbs and pepper with subtle hints of anise. On the palate, rich fruit flavours are interwoven with smooth tannins and a lifted acidity that lingers on the long finish.
Pale lemon in colour, despite the skin contact, this wine is beautifully balanced and textural. The nose boasts fresh pear and white peach aromas, with subtle notes of fennel. There is a harmonious depth to the palate, with flavours of citrus on the long finish.
Bright and lively, this wine has aromas of red and black fruits, with floral and herbal notes. On the palate, it shows intensity and complexity that come from the old vines. Full-bodied with balancing acidity, this wine has dry, fine tannins which are well integrated, thanks to the oak ageing.