The hot ticket these days in the Finger Lakes region of New York is what’s happening with red wines, now that sparkling, riesling and charonnay have all been well-established as classics for some time.

Two years ago I visited southeast Seneca Lake (the “banana belt” of the region) and bought (and reviewed) this fine varietal syrah which, in the hands of winemaker Vinnie Aliperti, really shows northern Rhone-like classic hallmarks, without the brettanomyces or other funk often found there.

Atwater Vineyards Syrah 2013 North Block Nine Finger Lakes

The nose is fully-ripened red and black cherry, clean and fresh, with classic white pepper spice and some licorice. On the palate, vibrant red and black cherry, a touch of bacon fat and pepper, very fresh clean finish, nicely mature with lots of varietal character without too much oak, funk or other distractions.