Though originally planted at Standing Stone Vineyards with blending in mind, Saperavi — a cold-hardy grape originally from Georgia (not the state) — has earned co-owner/wine Marti Macinski accolades. And she’s only been bottling it on its own since the 2005 vintage.

In a region where dark, inky reds are anything but the norm, it’s easy to see the appeal.

Beyond the color — which ultimately has little (no) bearing on a wine’s quality or even intensity — there is even more to like.

Standing Stone Vineyards 2013 Saperavi ($30) oozes with plum and blueberry fruit aromas that are accented by a slightly spicy, slightly savory blueberry compote, and a touch of vanilla. The mouth-filling palate is plush with more black-blue fruit, subtle toasty cinnamon spice, more vanilla and slightly savory/umami note on the finish, which shows slightly gritty tannins and fresh acidity.

I don’t know what the future holds for this grape in the Finger Lakes, but I always enjoy drinking it when it finds its way to my glass.

Producer: Standing Stone Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes
Price: $30 (sample)

(3 out of 5, Very good/Recommended)