In April, The International Wine of the Month Club’s Premier Series is pleased to offer our members four outstanding wines from three continents, beginning with the 2020 Shofer Vayots Dzor Areni Dry Red Wine from 120-year old un-grafted vines. Sporting a radiant red and violet robe and offering an enticing aroma of freshly picked strawberries, cherries, and plums, the 2020 Shofer Vayots Dzor Areni Dry Red Wine had us at first sight and sip. Smooth and charming on the palate, the wine’s beautiful fruit flavors re-emerge in the mouth, interwoven with a fine, graceful texture from Vayots Dzor’s ancient volcanic soil… all beautifully rendered on a bed of soft, succulent tannins. Shofer’s 2020 Vayots Dzor Dry Red Wine from 100% Areni grapes is pure delight. It is neither big nor brawny, yet it packs plenty of flavor and charm into its medium body, not unlike a fine Cru Beaujolais from Saint Amour or Fleurie. Enjoy this unique, very satisfying red wine now and often over the next few years at cool room temperature (58°-62° F). For a special treat, consider pairing Shofer’s Vayots Areni Dry Red with Braised Harissa Chicken, a recipe designed to accompany Shofer’s Areni Dry Red Wine and Dry White Wine by Alex Gatter of the Ruffled Apron: https://www.ruffledapronblog.com//braised-harissa-chicken/. Enjoy!
Our next Premier Series feature is the vivacious and utterly satisfying 2021 Fournier Sauvignon Blanc Val de Loire, another great success from this iconic Sancerre producer and arguably the best bargain in French Sauvignon Blanc on the market today. It easily rivals many expensive Sancerres from well-known estates. The 2021 Fournier Sauvignon Blanc Val de Loire offers up a heady aroma of gooseberry, mineral, melon, and herb. It delights the palate with a combination of mouth-watering Sauvignon Blanc fruit, laser-like precision, and pinpoint minerality to assure a crisp, vivacious finish. The 2021 Fournier Sauvignon Blanc Val de Loire imparts a freshness and purity rarely seen at this level and plenty of palate pleasing pleasure, too. Accessible and gratifying all at the same time, it’s hard to imagine a more classic Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc than Fournier’s 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Val de Loire. Santé!
April’s next exceptional offering is the delicious 2019 Nugan Estate Scruffy’s Shiraz Single Vineyard Riverina, a wine that is anything but scruffy and with nary an edge. Named for Nugan’s Shiraz vineyard manager, the 2019 Scruffy’s Shiraz offers dense black fruit flavors and a delightfully big mouthful of wine. This is a deep purple potion that offers spicy blackberry, cherry, and plum aromas infused with hints of violet flowers and chocolate. The wine’s beautiful olfactory carries through on the palate, where it offers a mélange of succulent blackberry and plum flavors, dried flowers, and subtle spice tones. Plush in the mouth but never flabby, this Shiraz exhibits just the right amount of ripe tannins to carry its prodigious fruit and spice flavors. The 2019 Scruffy’s Shiraz over-delivers in every respect, offering the class and style one normally associates with the more expensive Shiraz/Syrah offerings from Australia’s Barossa or France’s Rhône Valley. Cheers!
Completing April’s Premier Series offerings is another Armenian classic, the 2020 Shofer Vayots Dzor Voskehat Dry White Wine, which is sourced from a century-old high elevation vineyard of un-grafted vines. The 2020 Shofer Vayots Dzor Voskehat Dry White Wine emits a heavenly perfume resplendent with the enticing scents of spring flowers, pear, melon, and chamomile. Delicate and elegant on the palate, Shofer’s 2020 Voskehat elicits a soft, sensuous appeal as the wine’s ethereal fruit and floral flavors waft gently over the tongue and ingratiate themselves to the mouth and thirsty throat. A gentle twist of acidity freshens the palate as the wine gracefully exits with charm and precision. No smoke, no mirrors, no oak, just a rare and unique natural tasting white wine to make you wonder why more wines aren’t as pure and natural tasting as Shofer’s 2020 Vayots Dzor Voskehat Dry White Wine. For a special treat, consider pairing Shofer’s Voskehat with Braised Harissa Chicken, a recipe designed to accompany Shofer’s Areni Dry Red Wine and Voskehat Dry White Wine by Alex Gatter of the Ruffled Apron: https://www.ruffledapronblog.com//braised-harissa-chicken/. Enjoy!
The International Wine of the Month Club’s Collectors Series is thrilled to offer three special collectable wines in April, beginning with the rare and exceptional 2019 Taboadella Reserva Jaen Dão, a delightfully dense, full-bodied red wine that pays testimony to the quality and uniqueness of the Jaen grape as well the Amorim family’s Midas touch with this indigenous variety. Taboadella’s 2019 Reserva Jaen sports a deep purple color and offers an intoxicating perfume of savory dark fruits. Endowed with layers of black fruits, forest berries, and allspice, the 2019 Taboadella Reserva Jaen explodes in the mouth. The wine’s spicy, rich fruit and understated earth tones are carried on rich, heady tannins, assuring a long and mouthwatering finish as well a decade or more of drinking pleasure. This rare and unique offering is not to be missed. Enjoy!
Our next April Collectors Series offering is Herdade Aldeia de Cima’s 2020 Serra do Mendro Alentejo Reserva Branco. There is nothing ordinary about this wine nor its deliciously fruity tropical flavors, which immediately greet the nose. Think lime and pineapple with hints of mango and apricot. In the mouth, the 2020 Herdade Aldeia de Cima 2020 Serra do Mendro Alentejo Reserva Branco truly bursts with flavor. Gorgeous fruit carried with laser-like precision on a bed of fresh juicy acidity enlivens the palate and titillates the taste buds. Fresh, yet subtly complex from a touch of oak from a short stay in barrel, this Branco exhibits elegance, precision, plenty of flavor, and a long thirst quenching finish. The Herdade Aldeia de Cima 2020 Serra do Mendro Alentejo Reserva Branco is a match for the finest white wines made anywhere in Portugal, and it emanates from three of Portugal’s finest and most important white grape varieties. Enjoy!
Rounding out this month’s Collectors Series is the 2019 Château Sainte Eulalie Minervois La Livinière La Cantilène, a sophisticated mouth-filling Cru de Languedoc. From the moment it exits the bottle, the wine’s deep impenetrable color beckons the taster. Seductive aromatics grace the nose, while savory flavors of blackberry, cherry, ripe plums, and vanilla ingratiate themselves to the eager palate. However, the best is yet to come, as the 2019 Château Sainte Eulalie La Cantilène will unfold over time in the glass, almost surreptitiously, revealing hints of dark chocolate, forest berries, and wild herbs on a flow of rich tannins. Bold but not brazen, the Coustals’ 2019 La Cantilène is already seductive in its youth, yet it will continue to develop further in the bottle for those patient enough to lay a bottle or two down. Santé!