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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

Piedmont Meets Tuscany

Querciabella Maremma Toscana Mongrana 2007

Thomas Matthews
Posted: September 17, 2010

About the only upscale restaurants opening in New York these days are Italian. The past year has seen Marea, SD 26, A Voce Columbus, Scarpetta, Locanda Verde and, most recently, Mario Batali’s extravaganza called Eataly. Quattro Gastronomia Italia slipped in under the radar, opening in the Trump SoHo in April. If you enjoy Piedmontese cuisine, it’s worth a visit.

Quattro is a rare example of a restaurant that opens elsewhere in the country, then expands to Manhattan; chefs Fabrizio and Nicola Carro, Piedmont natives and identical twins, opened the first Quattro in Miami Beach in 1996 (it holds an Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator). The New York version echoes its sleek, sophisticated decor (think buttery leather, marble and glass) and upscale menu (executed by Fabrizio, who has moved north). But Miami offers a strong, 400-selection, all-Italian wine list. So far, New York is more conservative, balancing a diverse offering of Italian wines with more conventional labels from France and California.

We enjoyed a Provençal rosé with our first courses, a summery salad of lentils, cucumbers, tomatoes and cheese with a lively vinaigrette, and a classic vitello tonnato ($14), the creamy, savory sauce sparked by citrus. For the main course, I pitted a Tuscan red against Agnolotti Piedmontese Allo Stufato ($18), tender ravioli stuffed with braised beef in a meat ragù. The wine, Querciabella Maremma Toscana Mongrana 2007 ($14 by the glass), is a blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. It was rich on the palate, with currant, licorice and smoke flavors, modern in style, but with enough earthiness to complement the pasta sauce. I rated it 91 points, non-blind. Though rivals, the two Italian regions found harmony at the table.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Querciabella Maremma Toscana Mongrana 2007 (87, $19).

• Plus, get our quick list of Top Values among Italian reds.

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