Armenia is considered to be the birthplace of wine, with biblical references to the region being planted with vines. Armenia also hosts the site of the oldest known winemaking ruins, which date back 6,100 years. Founded by Armen Aslanyan, ArmAs is revitalising Armenia’s historic winemaking legacy. Situated on the 45th parallel, the estate covers 180 hectares of stunning vineyard and orchards, on an undulating terrain of complex soils set against the backdrop of Mount Ararat. Winemaker Emilio del Medico pays homage to this heritage by creating elegant and distinct wines from estate grown native varieties.
The ArmAs estate is located in the Aragatsotn Province (pronounced ARRA-got-sart’n), with vineyards ranging from 700 to 1,900 metres above sea-level. The altitude promotes a long ripening period; the vines produce concentrated fruit nourished by 300 days of sunshine per year, balanced by a freshness created by the cool summer nights. The ungrafted vines are planted in soils comprising 30 layers of volcanic, limestone and clay composition. The vineyard is made up of native varieties; and the indigenous Karmrahyut (pronounced KAR-mayut) really thrives in this terroir. Karmrahyut means ‘red juice’ in Armenian, which is demonstrated in the deep red colour of its wines. The grapes are manually harvested at optimum maturity.
After meticulous selection, the grapes were fermented at controlled temperatures of 25 to 27°C with selected yeasts. Lees contact with monthly bâtonnage gave the wine a rich, textured body. Aged for a total of 24 months, the wine was transferred to Artsakh oak barrels for 12 months, which impart subtle vanilla, cinnamon, clove and caramel characters; followed by a further 12 months in French oak, which delivered delicate oak spice.
A rich, opulent Karmrahyut with bold and intense aromas showing real complexity, with notes of cranberries, cherries, plums, rose petals and hints of white pepper and cinnamon completing the aromatic melange. Full bodied on the palate, with a mineral framed deep fruit core, this has a lovely, lingering finish.