`Karasì` Areni Noir



Zorik Gharibian, an Armenian based in Italy, worked with Attilio Scienza to find...

precisely the right location for this exciting project. After three years of research and detailed analysis of every aspect of the region, he finally bought the land in Vayotz Dzor. This is historically known as the most prestigious wine region in Armenia. The intention was to create a wine of the highest international quality. Winemaker Alberto Antonini and viticulturalist Stefano Bartolomei brought a great deal of passion and planning to the project, as well as a profound understanding of how to make it a success.

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Zorah have 15 hectares of vineyards, surrounded by mountains at 1,400m above sea level. A 6,100 year old winery, the oldest ever found, was discovered a few kilometres from the vineyards, which are situated in the small rural village of Rind in the heart of Vayotz Dzor, Armenia's quintessential grape growing region for quality wines. Long dry summers, with good sunlight and high daytime temperatures contrast with cool nights, encouraging a lengthy growing season. The soils are rocky and rich in limestone, helping maintain moisture for the vines during the intense summer heat. The indigenous vines are grown on ungrafted rootstock as the area is unaffected by Phylloxera.

Vintage Information

A great vintage characterised by a long, hot summer with strong sunlight. This was balanced by fresh night-time temperatures. It was dry until late September which allowed the harvest to be pushed back to the end of October. At the start of September the canopy around the bunches was trimmed back to allow greater exposure to sunlight to facilitate full ripening.


The grapes were harvested by hand into small 15 kilo crates. After de-stemming, the grapes were gently crushed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 28°-30°C for 10 days. Maceration on the skins lasted 14 days. Malolactic fermentation occurred naturally in barriques in November. 30% of the wine was aged in 225 litre French oak barriques for nine months, 5% in 300 litre Armenian oak barriques for nine months and 35% in old 130 litre Armenian amphorae (or 'karas') for 11 months. These are sealed with wax and are stored partially below ground to maintain a constant temperature. The remaining wine was aged in stainless steel tanks. The wine was then blended and bottled in October 2012. It was then aged in bottle for a further six months before release.

Tasting Notes

Bright ruby red in colour, this wine has complex aromas of red fruits, lightly spiced with an elegant toasted note. The palate reflects the exotic nose with hints of soft red fruits, dried mountain herbs and wild earth. Generous and soft with balanced, full-bodied structure and mature tannins before a long, evolved mineral finish.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2011
Grape varieties 100% Areni Noir
Region Yeghegnadzor, Vayots Dzor
Winemaker Alberto Antonini
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 5.45g/l
Wine pH 3.58