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 from 120-year-old un-grafted vines 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 and 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). Anticipated maturity: 2022-2025. Enjoy!
The charming and exuberant 2020 Shofer Vayots Dzor Areni Dry Red Wine provides the perfect complement to all kinds of meats and vegetables. 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/. It also makes a fine aperitif or after dinner sipper, but why wait until after dinner? This delicious red makes a splendid companion to a good charcuterie board with cured meats, grilled vegetables, all kinds of cow, sheep, and goat’s milk cheeses, olives, and more. It also shines in the company of heartier fare such as pâté, grilled lamb, marinated sirloin tips, and country ham. Barbecued spare ribs, fried chicken, and most anything one can put on a rotisserie make fine accompaniments too. So as you like it… the 2020 Shofer Vayots Dzor Dry Red Wine brings its welcome with it. Bari akhorzhak!
Throughout Europe and much of the ancient world, cheese is the constant companion to the local wine, and such is the case with Shofer’s 2020 Vayots Dzor Areni Dry Red Wine. Yet, not only do the local cheeses of the province make ideal partners, Cheddar, Edam, Munster, Raclette, Fontina, and a host of international cheeses also provide tasty, easy to find accompaniments. To discover more about the world’s finest cheeses and to learn about wine and cheese pairings, join us at www.cheesemonthclub.com.
Shofer is a winery located in the highlands of Vayots Dzor in southeast Armenia. Vayots Dzor is Armenia’s oldest and most important wine producing region, and in this mountainous and sparsely populated land, Shofer fashions three special wines from century-old vineyards of indigenous grape varieties.
Shofer, the Armenian word for “chauffeur,” features the Lada, the Soviet-era car driven by most of Armenia’s cab drivers. As is the case in many countries, Armenia’s cabbies constitute a lively, animated bunch: equal parts welcoming, efficient, boisterous, and quick to offer an opinion. They take pride in facilitating everyday life in Armenia’s towns and cities. Moreover, like the traditional London cabbie, they are knowledgeable and proud to show newcomers the rich cultural treasures of their homeland, including Armenia’s treasure trove of fine wines. And like a good shofer, Shofer’s wines are made to transport adventurous spirits to regions unknown and to celebrate the new, memorable, and unique in all that is Armenian.
Shofer’s most celebrated wines stem from Vayots Dzor and Armenia’s two most important indigenous grape varieties, Areni for Shofer’s prized Dry Red Wine (this month’s feature) and Voskehat, the country’s most renowned white grape, for Shofer’s celebrated Dry White Wine. Each is unique and delicious.
Located in southeastern Armenia in the Caucasus Mountains between Asia and Europe, Vayots Dzor is Armenia’s crown jewel and the site of the Earth’s oldest winemaking facility, the Areni-1 cave complex. Recently unearthed, the 6,100-year-old caves contain definitive archaeological evidence of advanced winemaking, including the possible use of sulfur as a preservative. Moreover, archeological excavations carried out in the 1940s reveal that as early as the first millennium B.C. during the Kingdom of Van, Vayots Dzor was western Asia’s leading wine producing region. Longer than anywhere else on earth, Vayots Dzor has continuously produced fine wine from indigenous grape varieties, a practice that continues and is once again attracting the world’s attention.
Vayots Dzor is home to many of Armenia’s ancient traditional grape varieties, including Areni, Khatoun Kharj, Tozot, and Voskehat. These are grapes whose names are difficult for outsiders to pronounce and, unfortunately, relatively unknown outside of Armenia. Areni, also known as Areni-Noir, is the region’s most prized red grape. It takes its name from the Vayots Dzor village of Areni where the oldest winemaking facility was recently discovered. Areni is a hardy thick-skinned grape with excellent disease resistance and a proven adaptability to Vayots Dzor’s extreme growing conditions. It is produced in a myriad of styles, all worth seeking out. Equally impressive is the region’s leading white grape variety, Voskehat. Although quite hearty, it produces a highly aromatic white wine of surprising delicacy and elegance. We invite you to explore the fine wines of Armenia’s Vayots Dzor as there is much to enjoy, and Armenian wines rightly deserve recognition beyond their native land.
Enjoy Limited Production Estate
Discover limited production estate bottled wines such as Vergenoegd's internationally
acclaimed 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, imported exclusively for our members.