Some think that pinot noir is the future red wine star of the Finger Lakes — and that may be true. But for right now, I’ve been most impressed by the latest crop of Blaufrankisch-based wines I’ve tasted from the region, this Atwater Estate Vineyards 2010 “Moffett Block Blaufrankisch ($38) included.

The Moffett Block is ten rows (.7 acre) of blaufrankisch that was planted in 2006, and honors Bill Moffett who first planted wine grapes on the farm in the 1970s.

The nose oozes with black and blue fruit — plums, blackberries, black cherries and blueberries — along with subtle notes of dark roast coffee and earthy, woodsy spice.

Medium bodied with dark fruit flavors that are ripe and concentrated, the palate requires a little time in the glass (or a decanter or in your cellar) to unfurl — but once it does, there is more of that earthy spice and an intriguing minerally graphite note. Though on the lighter side in terms of tannins, there is a juicy, almost-crunchy acidic backbone here that focuses and drives the palate forward.

Producer: Atwater Estate Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
ABV: 13%
RS: .2%
TA: 6.9 g/L
pH: 3.47
Oak Program: 11 months in Hungarian Oak
Production: 99 cases
Price: $38*

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