(Rind, Vayots Dzor, Armenia) $32

The first time I read about Areni-1 (pronounced are-AY-nee)—the name archeologists have given the cave that contains remnants of the oldest known winery in the world—I could not help but be entranced. Dating from more than 6,000 years ago in Armenia, Areni-1 is one of the richest archeological sites ever discovered. And this wine was made a stone’s throw away from it by California winemaker Paul Hobbs and Armenia’s Yacoubian (yah-COO-bee-in) family. Made from areni grapes, the wine is plush with a black peppery spiciness and delicious black cherry flavors. It reminds me of a mystical cross of syrah and cabernet. If you love history, this wine—it’s one of only a handful of Armenian wines available in the U.S.—is a must. (14% abv)

89 points KM

Available at Paul Hobbs Wines

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