I’ve since become quite fond of the grape, but I have Channing Daughters Winery and winemaker Christopher Tracy to thank for introducing me to blaufrankisch (also known as lemberger) with the winery’s 2003 bottling.

That 2003 was 100% Blaufrankisch, but over the years, Tracy has blended it with merlot some years and with this Channing Daughters Winery 2012 “Sylvanus Vineyard” Blaufrankisch($28) he blended in 25% Dornfelder.

Meaty and fruity, the nose shows layers of black-and-blue berry fruit, briar, violets and spice.

Medium-bodied and ripe, the palate shows concentrated dark fruit flavors framed by both fresh acidity and grippy tannins. Spicy note linger beneath that primary fruit, which drives forward to a long, balanced finish that offers a mildly earthy edge.

On a recent visit with Chris, we tasted some back vintages — including that 2003 — and it was eye-opening to see how these wines evolve and become so savory and complex with age. Tuck some of this 2012 in your cellar. Trust me. I’m going to do the same.

Producer: Channing Daughters Winery
AVA: The Hamptons, Long Island
ABV: 12%
Production: 185 cases
Price: $28*

(3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)