Like most things there are wine bars and there are wine bars. A visit to the renowned Morrell Wine Bar, located next to their famed wine shop on Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan is a a great treat for any wine aficionado. To top it off, the food’s pretty good too. The expansive list of wines available by the glass makes choosing a complicated affair. Best of all, as Morrell’s is packed every day, the wines are fresh even though they have so many wines open at once. Here is a sampling of wines I tasted there on my last visit:
- Riesling Magus, Leasingham, Clare Valley, Australia, 2004 - The exotic fruit flavors and aromas put me off at first, but soon I saw the error of my wines as the crisp, mineral foundation of this wine emerged to elevate the mouthwatering tropical fruit character beyond its simple first impression. The dry finish almost shyly revels itself behind the sweet impression of the fruit. By the time I reached the end of the glass I really hated to see it go.
- Chinon Rosé, J.M. Raffault, 2006 - This is just such a pretty wine from the delicate salmon pink color, to the beautiful fruit purity on the nose and on to the zesty freshness that the bright fruit flavors ride to the long, absolutely delicious finish. Just a wonderful wine.
- Pinot Noir, Failla, Keefer Ranch, Russian River, 2005 - Just not much to like here, over-ripe and overwrought with a hot, porty finish. On top of that, it’s very expensive.
- Pinot Noir, Merry Edwards, Méthode à L’Ancienne, Olivet Lane, 2005 - A glorious pinot noir that highlights every refined characteristic that make pinot so seductive and irreplaceable. A beautiful pale garnet in color with delicate aromatics that continually invite you to dig deeper and deeper to find all the secrets hidden within. The complexity contained within this delicate framework is truly incredible. As always seems to be with such fine pinot, there is almost none available and it’s very expensive. A great bottle to order when out on a vendors expense account.
- Ribero del Duero, Convento San Francisco, Crianza, Bodegas San Francisco, 2002 - This glass arrived with some roasted rabbit and a perfect match it was. The aromas and flavors of sweet oak express themselves throughout this wine, but as with so many Spanish wines, it just seems to work. Brilliant black current fruit, eucalyptus and a warm richness join the oak to create a big, yet harmonious and complex wine. A few more years of bottle age would be well worth waiting for as this wine, as good as it is now, has more potential.