By Lenn Thompson, Executive Editor
Channing Daughters Winery's winemaker, Christopher Tracy, is probably best known for his varied and often-delicious white wines -- not to mention his orange wines.
His reds are a bit less successful, but his Blaufrankisch is a long-time favorite of mine.
If you think you're not familiar with Blaufrankisch, but drinkFinger Lakes wines regularly, you actually probably are -- it's mostly known by the horrid name Lemberger up there.
Channing Daughters Winery 2008 Blaufrankisch ($25) is an incredibly versatile wine that is just as comfortable with a grilled steak hot off your grill this summer as it is with lamb stew or even a simple roast chicken in the fall.
Blended with 25% merlot, this red shows spicy -- think Chinese five spice -- aromas with juicy raspberry and red cherry character. There is also a savory cured meat quality that I really like with food.
Bright and cherry driven on the palate, there is a bit of plum skin, black pepper and brown spice, and a subtle earthiness on the finish. With light tannins but juicy-fresh acidity, it (again) shines brightest with food.
The gamey notes from the nose are a bit more pronounced on days two and three open.