With all due respect to Long Island and the Finger Lakes, the most exciting wines on my tasting table over the past month or so have been from the Niagara region of New York.  Generally speaking, they are well-made wines that are well priced and show the kind of distinctiveness I look for.

This Arrowhead Spring Vineyards 2010 Syrah ($35) is on the higher end of the pricing scale, but it delivers today and has the stuffing to improve in the bottle over the next five to ten years.

The intense, layered nose shows dark, brooding fruit — blueberry, blackberry and currant — with a dose of white pepper, a sprinkling of cocoa powder and a subtle gamey/cured meat note.

All of that black-and-blue fruit carries over to the palate,  along with black and white pepper, brown spice,  and pencil shavings — all framed by mouth-filling, ripe tannins. There is a sweet oak component that adds a cola-esque quality as well. While good when first opened, it really opened up on days two and three, so decant it for at least an hour or two at this stage.

Producer: Arrowhead Spring Vineyards
AVA: Niagara Escarpment
ABV: 12.5%
Price: $35*

 (4 out of 5, Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)