We’ve said this before, and we’ll say it again. Armenian wine belongs on the world stage. We recently received two samples from Storica, an importer based in Boston. Above all, Storica is leading the movement to bring Armenian wines to the U.S. from the oldest winemaking region in the world. 2016 Voskevaz Karasi Collection Haghtanak is magnificent, while 2019 Van Ardi is a superb good-value wine. Both are dry reds that are available in more than 30 states. Read on to learn more.
Storica Armenian Wine
Storica introduced us to the Armenian wine renaissance last year, with samples of Zulal, Keush and Shofer. Meanwhile, Storica recently added the Van Ardi and Voskevaz brands to their lineup, and kindly sent us two samples: 2016 Voskevaz Karasi Collection Haghtanak and 2019 Van Ardi Estate red.
These wines display a distinctive character, generated by high-elevation viticulture, extreme climate, volcanic soil and high winemaking standards. According to Storica, they also express indigenous grapes grown 6,000 years ago. “They mirror the country and our point of view – full of life, resiliency, and a familiar yet unique taste. No matter what you choose, you’ll fall in love with Armenian wines.”
First, Voskevaz is a family-owned winery known for their ‘Karasi Collection’ wines, which are fermented in Karas clay vessels and matured in oak barrels. This is considered a perfect marriage of ancient and modern winemaking techniques. The Armenian word for clay pots is Karas, so it’s fittingly the name for the Karasi Collection. Moreover, Voskevaz is one of the biggest wineries in the country.
Next, Van Ardi is an award-winning estate winery known for producing expressive, fruit-forward wines with complexity and balanced use of oak. Located in the ancient wine making region of Aragatsotn, Van Ardi is one of the first boutique wineries of the Armenian wine renaissance. “Our vision of placing Armenia on the global wine map is well underway,” says Founder Varuzhan Mouradian.
2016 Voskevaz Karasi Collection Haghtanak ($75)
This is a special-occasion wine. This full-bodied red showcases lush, brooding aromas and flavors of lots of plums, as well as blackberries, vanilla, spices and smoky cedar. This impressive wine is made from the Armenian grape Haghtanak, grown on 130-year-old vines, and then fermented in traditional clay Karas and aged in Armenian oak barrels for 14 months. We’re told this wine represents the real native character of Armenia. Decant it for a few hours first, and then bring on the barbecue to pair it with steaks or burgers. Perfect!
2019 Van Ardi Estate Red ($22)
Van Ardi blends three red grapes in their vineyard – Areni, Kakhet, and Haghtanak – into their flagship Estate Red blend. This is a wallet-friendly wine that offers notes of berries, plums, black pepper, cherries and chocolate. What a great value wine that is approachable, easy-drinking and ready for any occasion. The winery recommends pairing it with strongly flavored food, such as a slow-cooked braise, or a dish with a savory sauce.
Summary: Armenian Wine
In conclusion, we appreciated both of Storica’s wine samples. This is our third journey into Armenian wines, and we continue to be fans. Most importantly, we highly recommend them for their outstanding flavors.
Discover Storica’s wines online and in more than 30 states, including our home state of Washington. For example, you can purchase them in New York City, Boston, Miami, Houston, Austin, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Margot and Dave