Press & Updates
Judges' Selection Medal
Judges' Selection Medal
Shofer 2020 Areni
Bright, floral acidity and zingy pomegranate flavors combine in this straightforward, enjoyable wine. Directly-pressed, its color is quite pale, somewhere between light red and dark rosé. Easy-drinking and exuberant, it would match the flavors of tacos al pastor.
Voskevaz 2017 Karasi Collection Haghtanak
This wine approaches with a silky feel, weaving together blackberries and earthy beets, before haghtanak’s strong tannins take over the finish. The wine has a touch of sweetness, which helps to keep the fruit primary and vibrant, even five years on.
A wild edge of acidity adds lift to this lemon-jammy wine. Though the flavors are rich, the texture is austere enough for freshly shucked oysters.
Keush 2017 Brut Nature Ultra Blanc de Noir
This traditional-method specialist makes sparklers from indigenous Armenian varieties grown in high-elevation estate vineyards. This one is made from areni, whole-cluster pressed. Scents of wildflower and elderflower give some lift to the otherwise leesy, toasty aromas (it ages three years on the lees before disgorgement). Flavors of white cherries and strawberries come through clearly in this elegant sparkler. —C.W.
Zulal 2019 Areni Reserve
Zulal means “pure” in Armenian, reflecting the winery’s focus on varietal bottlings. This wine grows at a south-facing parcel in Aghasafi. A core of jammy cherry fruit vibrates within the bounds of the flavorful tannins, imbued with black tea and almond skin. Though it’s intense, it finishes elegantly, the fruit washing over your palate, and it would cheer up a holiday table of weary travelers. —C.W.
The Tasting Panel
2019 Van Ardi Estate Red Blend
Armenian-born Vanzhan Mourandian, was a CPA in California when he wanted to pursue his wine dream. He returned home to create modern wines for his country and produced wines from organic vineyards and minimal winemaking intervention. This wine is smooth and silky and delicious from start to finish, with fine acidity. Its aromas and flavors of tart red fruit, black fruit, and dried spices pairs beautifully with carnitas enchiladas
The Tasting Panel
2021 Zulal Voskehat
Zulal is the Armenian word for pure. Aimee Keushguerian, who founded Zulal Wines in 2017, is one of the driving forces in the Armenian wine industry. She believes in producing authentic wines. This wine rocks with excellent clean rustic flavors of faint floral notes, chalk, dried earth, and bright apples. Its medium weight and firm deliver a wine perfect for a grilled shellfish platter.
Lisa Granik MW
“Pretty, elegant, lifted cherry nose; pomegranate. Very well balanced structurally with tasty fruit character leading to a satisfying, elegantly lifted finish. Medium+ finish. Very nice wine, very attractive, should have wide appeal. What’s not to love? Very good value.”
Lisa Granik MW
“Full-bodied but not heavy, generous until alcohol intervenes: too hot, also abbreviates finish. Good quality fruit: pure red fruits with hints of sweet spices and light/medium sweet tannins. Medium- finish. Does it need a little time? Oak very well integrated already Two different bottles had different alcohol statements: 14%/15%. Whichever the number, it’s sadly still unbalanced and intrusive.”
Lisa Granik MW
“Bright, fresh nose, initially quite complex, with more mineral/edgy/cranberry/pomegranate; torrefaction than others; the longer it breathed, the more the earthy/torrefaction character talked over the fruit. Quite fine.”
Lisa Granik MW
“From a different parcel of vines than the “classic” bottling. Harvested around the 10th of November, with a more rigorous sorting. Fermented in stainless vats, but malolactic and elevage in (mostly used, 350-400 liter) oak barrels for about a year. Deep crimson and spicy, with the toasty oak character initially prominent on the nose, but plush, structured and elegant in the mouth with a supple, delicate tannic frame. A lovely wine: layers of black pepper, vanilla, red berries, black licorice and holiday spices lead into a crisp finish.”
Lisa Granik MW
“Pale crimson. Pretty delicate raspberry nose with light mineral note. Light bodied, filigreed, full-palate coverage – really. Impressive. Very feminine; poised. Fully integrated, refined. Delicate 3D finish. Really great right now and for the next three years. Great value.”
Lisa Granik MW
“Bright yellow. Bright and focused on attack, it opens out to become broad and rich, not quite full-bodied, with aromas and flavors of citrus, pears and tropical fruits.”
Lisa Granik MW
“Full, rich, yeasty and very creamy, yet with green apple and tropical notes on the nose and palate. Juice from the oldest vines are used in this cuvée, imparting considerably more depth and breadth than the NV, and a finish that is crisp, and vaguely saline. Long and very satisfying. From the same village as the NV, the grapes grow on volcanic and limestone soils.”
Lisa Granik MW
“Featuring 100+ year old vines, this delightful sparking wine spends minimum 24 months on the lees. Bright, focused, complex and delicately textured, with flavors of stone fruits, jasmine, green apple, and a fine minerality throughout. Grapes: Voskehat 60% Khatouni 40%; dosage 4.5 g/l; no malolactic fermentation.”
“This is a nice red from Armenia, with a soft mouthfeel and nice balance. Easy drinking and fruit forward, with a touch of earth notes. Spicy and interesting. Rich and elegant.”
“Say hello to my first Armenian wine! This is a delicious sparkling wine from Armenia. Nicely balanced with a nice mouthfeel. Dry on the palate with citrus, lemons, green apples, herbs, yeast, light spices, river rocks, earth and white pepper.”
“The NV Keush Sparkling is a terrific wine, as well as a screaming value. Classy notes of white flowers, stone fruits, and obvious minerality flow to a ripe, textured, balanced sparkler that has way more depth, richness, and length than the price point would have you believe.”
Caroline Gilby writes in her article “The rebirth of Armenian wine, and bottles to try” that “Few corners of the world can rival Armenia’s rich winemaking history and a new, exciting generation of wines have emerged in the post-Soviet era.”
Armenia—the oldest wine drinking culture—also has an exciting small modern wine industry. Keush is a terrific example. Fresh and minerally, the [sparkling] wine comes from high elevation volcanic and limestone soils. Plus it’s a great opportunity to taste two little-known grape varieties: voskehat and khatouni.
A Benchmark Example of Armenia’s Most Popular Red Grape
Sommeliers’ Top 10 By-The-Glass Sparkling Wines
One of Scott Stroemer, bar director, Galit, Chicago’s, earliest discoveries was the Keush Origins Brut, a traditional-method blend of Armenia’s indigenous Voskehat and Khatouni grapes that has been one of the list’s longest staples. “Both grapes are full bodied and high-acid, making them ideal for sparkling wine,” says Stroemer. “This has been our little secret at Galit since opening in 2019, but the wine is too good not to get noticed.”
The Top 10 Wines of 2022, From $35 to $35,000
All reflect what’s important in today’s wine world and where it’s headed in the years ahead.
Elin McCoy, wine and spirits columnist for Bloomberg News, chose our 2017 Keush Ultra Blanc de Noirs Brut Nature as her “discovery of the year.” Read more!
6000 Years of Wine with Wine3 and Storica Wines
The JUSTLY Impact: Podcast
Industry experts and co-founders of Storica Wines and Wine3 discuss the evolution of wine, from the resurgence of “old” Armenian wines to the “new” NFT wine tracking and authentication.
What Wine Goes with Turkey? Here Are 11 to Try This Thanksgiving
Whether you’re eating, cooking or dodging invasive questions from your extended family, you’re going to need something to drink. And while choosing a bottle (or three or four) for the occasion can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be. Let’s start with the main event: the bird. If you’re wondering what wine goes with turkey, we have eleven quaffable options (white and red, because this versatile bird can pair well with both).
Bringing the Renaissance of Armenian Wines to the US With Zack Armen of Storica Wines
In this episode of the Legends Behind the Craft podcast, Drew Thomas Hendricks and Bianca Harmon host Zack Armen, the Co-founder and President of Storica Wines, to talk about Armenian wine. Zack discusses the history of winemaking in Armenia and the renaissance of its wine industry. He shares how he was able to introduce Armenian wines to the US market and how Storica Wines expanded rapidly since its inception in 2018.
A Transformation in Progress
Armenia makes a statement on the global wine stage.
Write for Wine: Voskevaz Karasi Collection and Van Ardi
Storica is leading the movement to bring Armenian wines to the U.S. from the oldest winemaking region in the world. 2016 Voskevaz Karasi Collection Haghtanak is magnificent, while 2019 Van Ardi is a superb good-value wine. Both are dry reds that are available in more than 30 states. Read on to learn more.
Storica Wines Bringing The Story of Armenian Wines to the US One Tasty Sip At a Time
With ancient grapes first cultivated for winemaking over 6,000 years ago, Armenian wines might be historic, but they are now becoming hip as well, thanks to New York native and co-founder of Storica Wines, Zack Armen. Read more.
Armenian Wine Tasting: Ancient Vines with Unique Tastes
We learned about Armenian Wine the best way—by sampling five different bottles—three in the bubbly category and all worthy of your attention. A local specialist was on hand to educate us.
Successfully Sell Wine No One Wants or Knows About
Flourishing in challenging conditions is possible. These pros make it look easy. But behind every seemingly easy sale and social media blitz are hundreds of hours of unglamorous and thankless research and outreach, backed by a well-oiled logistical import, distribution and sales strategy.
The Birthplace of Wine
Raise a toast to Armenian resilience. This is important in a country with such a rich wine-making history.
Wines to Find Podcast
What a treat this conversation was! Ara Sarkissian joined us to talk about Armenian wines.
Listen to hear about the growing conditions, history and values to be found in Armenian wines & more.
Lisa Granik's Marvelous Mission To Master of Wine
Lisa and MJ discuss her unconventional path to becoming a Master of Wine, imposter syndrome, how wine is like people. Plus, MJ tries our Zulal wines for the first time.
Favorite 50 Wines of 2021
Further, multiple wine regions produce these excellent bottles: Washington, Oregon, California, B.C., France, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Armenia and Argentina. Certainly, we loved all 50 of these wines.
Better Than Beer? Pros Explain Why Wine Pairs Best with BBQ
Erin Smith, chef/owner of Feges BBQ in Houston, Texas, takes her wine education seriously. Smith is one of several barbecue professionals who are increasingly passionate about wine pairings. For instance, she suggests pairing creamy, slightly spicy Alabama white sauce—great over half chicken—with Armenian sparkling wine like Keush Origins, a blend of Voskehat and Khatouni.
Exploring Life & Business with Zack Armen of Storica Wines
Co-founder Zack Armen speaks with The Memphis Voyager on what it’s like to start a wine import business, the challenges Storica has overcome and the future of importing Armenian wines to the US and beyond.
Unique Holiday Pairings With Armenian Wines
Armenian wine is rare in the US and has a rich, ancient history, so in addition to bringing a quality bottle of wine to the party, you’ll also be bringing with you an interesting topic to share.
Wine Enthusiast's December 2021 Advance Buying Guide
Explore the December 2021 Wine Enthusiast Buying Guide, including wines from Armenia.
Get the Scoop on Wine and Ice Cream Pairings, According to Wine Experts
Wine and food lovers, rejoice.
Pairing wine and ice cream might not seem intuitive, but it’s possible. Christopher Poldoian, sommelier and brand ambassador for Storica Wines weighs in.
Tasting Armenian Wines With Billy Costa on Food For Thought Radio
Tune in to listen to WBZ News Radio’s Food For Thought host Billy Costa and Christopher Poldoian, sommelier and brand ambassador for Storica Wines taste and discuss Armenian wines.
“We always welcome opportunities to taste outside our usual sources of wine. This was doubly true when we received two bottles of wine from Armenia. For it is a country whose wines I had not previously tasted.” Read Wine Travel Eats’ full review on our Armenian wines.
A Guide to Armenia, One of the World’s Oldest Wine Regions
Through triumphs and tumult, the country’s wine industry is again on the rebound. Here’s what you need to know about Armenia’s vinous renaissance.
Ancient Amorphae and Island Vines: Five Alternatives to Western European Wine Vacations
“For people focused on wine, however, there are plenty of places to explore, especially as destinations reopen to vaccinated travelers. Those who want to avoid crowds might consider these five alternatives to Western European wine vacations — including Armenia.”
Storica Wines Announces Armenian Wine Portfolio Expansion with Two New Brands: Van Ardi and Shofer
Storica Wines, today announced the addition of two new wine brands to their portfolio: Van Ardi and Shofer. Van Ardi is an award-winning estate winery located in Aragatsotn, Armenia; Shofer is a new brand built by the Storica team, with its flagship product a 2020 Areni Rose now available through the company’s online store and in various retail outlets across the country. Read more.
Wine Tour At Home: Armenia
“Armenia’s top wines today include a selection of expressive whites, memorable reds, lovely rosés and stellar bubbly. In the last few years the government has begun a serious push to aid winemakers to market this ‘Sacred Land of Wine’ and this has helped with the somewhat challenging task of finding Armenian wines in stores or online. Storica Wines which is an Armenian wine import company in the U.S. is also working on making wines from Armenia more accessible and to “celebrate the soul, the history, and the song of Armenia.” One of the labels that Storica carries is Zulal, and I had the pleasure of trying three of their wines.” Read more.
Summer Barbecue Reds
Ah, summer! That is to say, it’s grilling season, and time for that special pairing of Barbecue Reds. So fire up the BBQ and bring out your favorite red wines, including Zulal Areni Reserve.
Talking Armenian Wine with Storica Wines
Storica Wines is located in Armenia and I was so excited to learn about long wine history (about 6,000 years of history) of Armenian wine and how the geopolitical conflict and politics affected the history of winemaking in the country. And of course we did a little tasting! Listen to the full podcast now.
One Of The Oldest Wine Producing Countries Growing Grapes In Conflict Zones; The Reemergence Of Armenia
“Many times throughout history Armenians have had to flee their home to find safety somewhere else leaving behind their land, their way of life and some of the most sacred things that were rooted in Armenian history, such as their winemaking and vines, and there have been times that they have been threatened to be wiped out if they didn’t give up everything and move to a distant land. Yet the time has come for them to stand up and protect their home, their vineyards and their native grape varieties so they can take their rightful place among ancient winemaking countries.” Read more.
Armenian Red Wines with Roasted Lamb
“This was the first Armenian red wine, and their first tasting of Areni and thought it had a light nose, moderate tannins and a medium finish, a couple of people suggested that it reminded them of a light Pinot Noir.” Read more.
An Armenian Bubbly and a White
“This was pure Voskehat and this was a winner both in pairing and with drinking. The consensus here was that it had a nice floral nose, with enjoyable salinity (brightness) with notes of apricots and a nice finish of flint, is what they all agreed on. ” Read more.
How This Armenian Wine Company Is Disrupting the Wine Industry
Zack Armen, an Armenian businessman and cofounder of Storica Wines, is bringing the Armenian wine story to life in the U.S. Part of what makes Armenian wine so unique is Armenia’s “terroir,” the combination of climate, soil and elevation, which give Armenia’s unique indigenous grape varieties a flavor and aroma profile that is pleasant, top notch and reminiscent of other fine wines from around the world. Read more.
Wine Reviews: Weekly Mini Round-Up for June 7, 2021
“An Excellent to Extraordinary wine, worth seeking out at nearly any price. From ‘damn, this is great!’ to “I’d rip someone’s arm off for a bottle of this wine.'” — Wine Writer Joe Roberts
Discovering Armenian Wine
“As a wine drinker, I’m very happy with my discovery [of Armenian Wines]. As a collector, I’m also very happy, as I get to add 3 new grapes, plus a checkmark to the list of the winemaking countries I had an opportunity to taste the wines from. Most importantly, I had an experience of drinking the wines made in the country which is an indelible part of the world’s winemaking history. All in all, a good day.”
Storica Wines Co-Founder Zack Armen Is Putting The Spotlight On Armenia
“We believe strongly and wholeheartedly that the time for Armenian wine is now, and it comes at a pivotal time in the history of the US, Armenia, and the world.” Storica’s Co-Founder and President, Zack Armen, chatted with Haute Living about Storica Wines, its mission, and the future of the Armenian wine industry. Read on.
“If you’re seeking some new wines to try, I absolutely recommend trying some from Armenia. I was wildly impressed by all the wines I tasted, and think they are great conversation pieces for your next dinner party or get together.” Sara Lehman