While staying at the Marriott Marquis for the New York Wine Experience, I took a break for lunch at Becco, which is a block away, on Restaurant Row in the Theater District. This restaurant is owned by Lidia Bastianich of Felidia and her son Joe, partner in Mario Batali’s restaurants. I like Becco's casual atmosphere, buzz when it’s busy, and the menu of classic Italian cuisine.
We asked the sommelier to surprise us with something elegant, assertive and memorable; after a few moments of playful banter, he was off to the cellar. He uncorked a delightful 2000 Refosco dal Peduncolo (a clone of Refosco), from the producer Girolamo Dorigo, in northeastern Italy's Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC. The red wine (about $80 on the wine list) was terrific with our mix of pastas, seafood and salads. Five years after release, the bottle had opened up nicely: rich, vibrant and youthful, with deep, polished cherry, anise and cranberry fruit, lively acidity and tannins that are supple yet gripping. 93 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Girolamo Dorigo Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso Colli Orientali del Friuli Vigneto Montsclapade 2000 (87, $45 on release).
• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values in recently rated Italian reds.