The image of Finger Lakes red wines as typically underwhelming -- especially compared to the regions often outstanding white wines -- has begun to evolve in recent years -- mostly thanks to two warm vintages (2005 and 2007) and a handful of producers really pushing the quality envelope.
The region is getting its due for its red wines too now -- at least here and there.
Here's a wine from the more "normal" 2008 vintage that further proves how silly it is to generalize when it comes to wine.
Heron Hill Winery 2008 Cabernet Franc ($18) shows aromas of blackberry and black raspberry fruit under a veil of toasty oak and leaf tobacco. With time in the glass, a subtle savory/umami note emerges as well.
With a surprisingly dense core of sweet black and blue fruit, the medium-bodied palate delivers good intensity of fruit with a smoky, peppery edge. Though relatively low on tannin, there is nice acidity here for structure.
The tobacco leaf character from the nose reappears towards the end of a medium-long finish that also shows a bit of oak.
Producer: Heron Hill Winery
AVA: Finger Lakes
(3.5 out of 5 | Very Good, Recommended to Outstanding and Delicious, Highly Recommended)