With wines from "great red wine years" like 2005 and 2007 available across New York (with 2010s still at least a year away), it would be easy to focus on wines from those vintages and dismiss those from other years.
It's easy to be wowed by the intensity and power of those wines, but if you explore New York reds with hot-vintage blinders on, you'll miss out on a great many delicious, satisfying wines from more typical years.
This Lakewood Vineyards 2008 Cabernet Franc ($16) is an nice example of we shouldn't dismiss cooler years.
Pretty black raspberry fruit is joined on the nose by notes of smoky tea, cedar, dusty cocoa powder and delicate green character.
Though made in a distinctly lighter-bodied style, there is a lot to like here. The fruit flavors lean a bit more towards red berries with a smoky edge and understated eartiness with a dash of cocoa and baking spice.
The finish is medium-long if a bit oaky, but there's an intriguing spiciness too.
Producer: Lakewood Vineyards
AVA: Finger Lakes