We recently tasted four impressive wines from Storica, a wine importer bringing Armenian wines to the U.S. from the oldest winemaking region in the world. And we are delighted. These wines display a distinctive character, generated by high-elevation viticulture, extreme climate, volcanic soil and high winemaking standards. Simply put, these outstanding wines belong on the U.S. stage. And you can find them in more than 15 states. Read on to learn more about Storica Armenia wines.
Storica Armenian Wines
“We are here, of course, to drink our wine. But we are also here to celebrate the soul, the history, and the song of Armenia.” With that in mind, Storica selected four brands to showcase the beauty of Armenian wines to the U.S.: Zulal, Keush, Oshin, and Shofer.
These brands craft wines using grapes indigenous to the area. First, Areni is a leading red grape from Armenia’s Vayots Dzor region. A team of archaeologists discovered the oldest artifacts of winemaking in Areni from over 6,000 years ago. Next, Voskehat, the most-planted white grape, creates a full-bodied white wine with flavors of stone fruits, flowers and delicate notes of herbs. Finally, the “Origins” sparkling white wine from Keush features grapes from 100-year-old vines grown just one mile above sea level.
Storica sent us four wine samples from Zulal and Keush, and we appreciated all of them. We hope to taste the Shofer Rosé when it becomes available next month.
Keush Origins Sparkling Wines (SRP $26)
Origins sparkling wine is made using the traditional champagne method. It blends Armenian native varieties Voskehat (60%) with Khatouni (40%). This bubbly entices with zesty citrus and apple flavors, in addition to salinity from limestone soil and volcanic rock. With character and finesse, this truly represents the 6,000-year-old Armenian viticulture history. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to be introduced to stellar Armenian wines.
Zulal Voskehat 2019 (SRP $20)
Zulal means “pure” in Armenian, and we could immediately taste the purity of Voskehat 2019. A dry white wine, this is unlike any other wine we have experienced. It is100% Voskehat, grown in volcanic rock and made in stainless steel tanks. As a result, we tasted flint, minerality and salinity, along with citrus and herbal notes. Fresh and clean, this is a quality wine at an excellent price point. Pair it with summer salads or enjoy it with seafood all year round.
Zulal Areni 2018 ($22) and Areni Reserve 2018 ($33)
A richness is prevalent in both these gorgeous 100% Areni red wines from Zulal. Areni is the most planted, signature grape of Armenia. As mentioned, Areni is also the location of the world’s oldest-known winery.
Zulal Areni is a fresh, medium-bodied red wine with flavors of red cherries, plums and cranberries. It classically expresses the ancient Areni variety.
The Areni Reserve is full-bodied and elegant. Barrel aging adds a lovely, round mouthfeel and spice to the expressive red berry flavors of the Areni grape. This tastes like more than a $30 bottle of wine.
Both paired well with lamb kofti, roasted broccoli and lemon parsley rice, beautifully prepared by our dear friend Jenise Stone. These reds would also complement some seafood dishes, such as swordfish or giant prawns, in addition to roasted chicken, lamb burger, beef wagyu and other grilled meats.
Wine enthusiasts often describe the Areni grape as a cross between Pinot Noir, Merlot and Sangiovese. But we simply describe it as delicious.
Storica Wines Summary
In conclusion, Storica wines are a perfect introduction to the Armenian wine renaissance. Above all, we highly recommend them for their outstanding flavors and unbelievable price points.
Moreover, we agree with this statement on Storica’s website: “Our wines express indigenous grapes grown 6,000 years ago. They mirror the country and our point of view – full of life, resiliency, and familiar yet unique taste. No matter what you choose, you’ll fall in love with Armenian wines.”
Discover Storica’s wines online and in more than 15 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.
Find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. And of course, here, at Write for Wine – It’s WIne O’Clock Somewhere.
Margot and Dave