Roanoke Vineyards 2012 Gabby’s Cabernet Franc ($43) shows the ripeness of the vintage, but is a standout for its elegant intensity and early complexity.

A blend of cab franc grown in a part of Roanoke’s estate vineyard known as “Gabby’s rows” because Pisacano family patriarch Gabby Pisacano manages them along with 17% merlot and 1% petit verdot, it offers a spicy and slightly herbal – in a good way – nose with layers of sweet black cherry and blackberry with subtle but distinct minty-licorice notes and high-toned floral aromas.

Pretty and fresh on the medium-bodied palate, mixed berries lead the way with layers of sweet spice, grilled herbs and a bit of nutty oak. The finish is long and impeccably balanced ending on a lovely spiced berry note. The tannins are ripe and well-integrated, bringing structure without astringency.

It’s a beautiful, age-worthy wine with plenty of charm.

Of course, the 2012 is sold out, but if you want the chance to drink future vintages, join the wine club or make friends with a current member. You might want to become a club member anyway, since the main tasting room closes to the public at the end of the calendar year.

Producer: Roanoke Vineyards
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13.2%
Production: 153 cases
Price: $43 (purchased via the wine club)

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