2020 Aridus Viognier – A Summertime Refreshing Wine
First thing right up front is most don’t think of Arizona as a “winery state”! Turns out Arizona has over 120 wineries scattered throughout the state. Aridus is located in southeastern Arizona in Willcox, about 85 miles east of Tucson in Cochise County. The town of Willcox has 14 different tasting rooms!
(Picture from City of Willcox)
Scott and Joan Dahmer founded Aridus Wine Company in 2012, just outside the city of Willcox. The name Aridus, comes from the Latin word meaning “dry or arid”, appropriate for most people’s idea of Arizona.
The winery/crush facility and tasting room are located in two different locations in Willcox. They also have another tasting room in Scottsdale on Main Street. Their yearly production is approximately 2,500 cases. They have an amazing lineup of different varietals available including: whites including Malvasia Bianca, Viognier, Chardonnay, Fume Blanc and Muscat. Reds include Merlot, Mourvèdre, Graciano, Petite Sirah, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Petite Verdot and Montepulciano, as well as several Rosés. The winemaker, Lisa Strid has produced wine for the last seven years at the winery. During this time, she has produced 183 wines from five different growing regions in Arizona, New Mexico and California. Since 2020, Aridus is now making wine exclusively from its estate vineyard
An interesting wine in that it was made in sandstone jars, which provided a more defined and clearer expression of fruit. On the eyes, a light golden color and medium viscosity. On the nose, rich floral aromatics, along with peach and pear waft into the senses. On the palate, stone fruits of pear and apricot and a beautiful weightiness fills the mouth. The finish is lingering with orange blossom and honeysuckle. This is a premier summertime wine to be enjoyed with the upcoming warm weather. The price is $48/bottle and alcohol level is 14.6%.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Photo ©Michael Kelly
Chosen to pair with a simple Caesar salad, with fresh Parmesan slices and pepper this evening as we just concluded an appetizers/wines event with nine separate items (see story at https://www.facebook.com/mkellywine?__cft__=AZXewOq8t-YawsnyjYDXJ9mjdgrD41ytuQY_GK1-DnmIonS2ZqVGbf02phDIoWQD7sgI_ojt5irh84QlSRL8UuCnHjiKLmHPQfot2GAEiQZ66OKkPFwgEucCL2g-yPDXCvr60ObiiB5KwaoIBY4CCng8OeRyCuh3_7ndIi1k48j7Iw&__tn__=-UC%2CP-R). On this warm evening this was a perfectly enjoyable wine with a light salad. This now makes three Aridus wines that I can without hesitation recommend: 2016 Barrel Select Cabernet Franc, 2020 Graciano and the 2020 Viognier.