Keush "Origins" Brut
Voskehat Blend｜Vayodz Dzor, Armenia
In 1446 B.C. Thutmose III of Egypt said of the ancient hills of Armenia, "heaven rests upon its four pillars."
Based in Vayots Dzor, Armenia, the terroir is nothing short of spectacular: these are some of the highest-elevation vineyards in the northern hemisphere at over 5200 feet, with ungrafted heritage vines at over 70 years old, some as old as 100 years. Looking at photos one gets a sense of the millennia of civilization's history emanating from here.
Keush produces these bubbles in the "méthode traditonelle" – the very same method Champagne producers use, and age this wine for two years minimum before release. We'd include blurbs from all the critics signing its praises here, but prefer to let its terroir and history tell the story.
These bubbles are a blend of two indigenous Armenian varieties, Voskehat and Khatouni. Voskehat is an incredibly long-lived grape; one can still find 100+ year-old vines growing in the high-altitude volcanic-limestone soils, some even on their original, ungrafted rootstock! Khatouni adds freshness and acidity; together they make for fun, fresh, pleasing bubbles with an incredible story of terroir and history. Wine has been made here for as long as anywhere we know of in the world – evidence of fermenting grapes goes back 7500 years before Christ. Humans have settled in the hills of Armenia since 90,000 B.C., however, and those prehistoric inhabitants just might have enjoyed the magic of fermented beverages.
With flinty notes of volcanic rock and brisk, exuberant bubbles, it opens up to fleshy golden apple and exotic aromas of cardamom and vetiver, finishing with biscuit, lemon, and salinity. Lively, distinct, and fresh, this is some of the finest sparkling wine to come out of the ancient world, at a price too good to pass up. Do yourself a favor and buy a case of this to casually pop at your next "social bubble" gathering or holiday get-together to blow some minds and palates!