The Aridus Wine Company was founded by Scott and Joan Dahmer and today is on its 5th harvest. Grapes for the wines reviewed below were sourced from diverse vineyards in southeastern Arizona (mostly from Willcox in Cochise County) and New Mexico. [see map below] Their 5 thousand foot high, 40 acre estate vineyard along Turkey Creek in Pearce, Arizona, began providing fruit for several white wines beginning with the 2017 harvest. We provide reviews on four of their many wines below. Given the high quality of the wines reviewed here, we very much look forward to tasting future releases from their estate vineyard. The winery has tasting rooms in Willcox and Scottsdale Arizona. www.ariduswineco.com
Lisa Strid is the winemaker; she also writes a most entertaining blog. A native of Wyoming, she was introduced to winemaking in Washington State, then studied winemaking at Oregon State and made wine at Alexana in Oregon’s Dundee Hills and at E&J Gallo in California before becoming winemaker at Aridus in 2016.
Aridus 2016 Malvasia Bianca Miembre Valley New Mexico ($37) 89 Showing scents of rose petal and jasmine, the Malvasia Bianca is dry on the attack and delicate on a perfumed palate with lovely lychee and tropical fruit flavors. Has good balancing acidity and a pleasant, dry finish.
Aridus 2016 Rosé Cochise County Arizona ($30) 90 Medium pink. This fresh and easy drinking rosé is introduced by scents of red berries and light red cherry that are mirrored on the palate with a distinct red raspberry accent. The wine is very fruity without being over the top. Good acidity offsets a touch of sweetness. A blend of 68% Mourvedre and 32% Grenache, direct pressed and aged four months in 43% new oak. RS 10 g/L
Aridus 2015 Malbec Cochise County Arizona ($37) 91 A nose of red plum accented by honeyed spice provides an appealing entrance to the Malbec. Soft and feminine in style, the wine reveals good purity of dark red fruit on the palate with a soft round mouth feel and well integrated oak. Sourced from the Asmundson Family Vineyards and matured 19 months in a mix of new and used oak barrels, both French and American.
Aridus 2014 Petite Sirah Cochise County Arizona ($40) 91 This is a dark fruited wine that’s lighter and more elegant than most California Petite. It shows huckleberry and cassis aromas and flavors and good palate balance with a persistent, flavorful finish. Sourced from Sándor Vineyards and aged 16 months in 40% new French oak.