Yacoubian-Hobbs Red Areni 2017
The 2017 Areni captivates with aromas of dark fruits, muddled strawberry and freshly cracked black pepper. The palate gives way to a bright, fresh fruit expression, revealing a firm tannic structure and finishing with a pleasantly refreshing acidity.
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This deep garnet colored wine has aromas of strawberry, pomegranate and lilac. It is bright on entry, with velvety tannins and flavors of black cherry, blackberry, aniseed and vanilla that culminate in a soft, spicy finish.
Sitting just north of Iran and east of Turkey, Armenia is a mountainous and land-locked ex-Soviet republic. As part of the Transcaucasion region, which includes eastern Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia, Armenia is among the oldest of wine growing regions. While the prevalence and popularity of Armenian winemaking has evolved over the centuries, the wild vine Vitis vinifera silvestris (an ancestor of today’s Vitis vinifera wine-producing species) has been growing here for over a million years. Today the majority of the grapes grown in Armenia go to Brandy production, but the rising demand for Armenian wine in its most popular market, Russia, is fueling growth of still wine production. Most of the country’s wines come from the regions of Armavir, Ararat and Vayots Dzor. Though Armenia lays claim to hundreds of indigenous varieties, it uses only about 30 for the majority of its wine production, three quarters of which is white. The key white varieties include Chilar, Lalvari and Voskehat; for reds, Kakhet, Areni and Khndogni (also known as Sireni) are the main players.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.