Aridus: Current Releases from the Great American Southwest

We recently tasted some of the current releases of Arizona’s Aridus winery where Wyoming native Lisa Strid made the wines tasted here.  These are well made, flavorful wines sourced from high elevation vineyards. We’re especially fond of the Tempranillo, which reminds us of the traditional Rioja wines we tasted last year in Spain. Aridus now has a new winemaker, Michael Hellman, who has several years experience making wine in Texas.

The Wines

Aridus 2020 Viognier Cochise County Arizona ($40) 91 Luminescent light yellow. This is a nicely balanced, fresh tasting Viognier. The nose reveals light notes of minerals and dried herbs. The palate is perfumed with floral and citrus notes. It has brighter acidity, is fresher and lower in alcohol than the 2019 vintage. We like it much better. Sourced from estate vineyards and fermented mostly in sandstone jars, racked off the lees and returned to sandstone jars for 14 months before bottling. pH 3.6, 13.2% alc.

Aridus 2021 Sauvignon Blanc Arizona ($40) 89  Orchard fruit on nose with tangerine accent. Made in a riper style with fig, apricot and hints of dried fruit on the palate. An unusual Sauvignon Blanc with noticeable sweetness balanced by high acidity. It’s probably a hit in the tasting room. Should pair well with spicy Asian food. Sourced from the estate’s vineyard in the Chiricahua Foothills of southeastern Arizona, 90% aged in stainless steel and 10% in neutral oak. RS 12 g/L, pH 3.35 13.3% alc.

Aridus 2019 Syrah Cochise County Arizona ($60) 91 Dark carmine. Showing fresh, spice-accented aromas of dark cherry and plum, this is flavorful and nicely balanced Syrah revealing notes of boysenberry, blackberry and exotic spices. There good concentration on the mid-palate and a long finish with fine tannins. Sourced from the Chiricahua Ranch and Juan Alba’s Arzberger Road vineyards, fermented separately (the Chiricahua portion was cofermented with 11% Viognier) and racked to used French oak for 30 months. pH 3.79, 14.6% alc.

Aridus 2019 Tempranillo Cochise County Arizona ($50) 92  I spent several weeks in Rioja and Navarra last year tasting Tempranillo wines; this one from Arizona reveals the typicity of Tempranillo and would feel right at home in northern Spain. Dark ruby red. Opens with scents of cherry, plum and whiffs of vanilla oak and red raspberry. Substantial on the palate with dense flavors that mirror the nose and a very long, rich finish. Well done. This Tempranillo-Graciano blend would be a Gran Reserva in Rioja; the winemaker has followed the traditional Rioja recipe aging the wine partly in American oak and blending with Graciano to complement the usually low-acid Tempranillo. A blend of 86% Tempranillo and 14% Graciano sourced from Chiricahua and Juan Alba’s vineyards in Cochise County. After fermentation racked to used American and French oak barrels for 28 months. pH 3.9, 14.3% alc.

Aridus 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Arizona ($59) 91 Dark red garnet. Exuberant berries and plum aromas. Soft on entry with a full mouth feel. Lush, ripe fruit shows on the palate with flavors reminiscent of cassis and plum. Nicely balanced and very pleasurable drinking. Very good.


Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2024/01/17/aridus-current-releases-from-the-great-american-southwest/

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