We were pleased to be invited to join one of Italy’s premiere wine makers, Lamberto Frescobaldi, at North Beach Restaurant www.northbeachrestaurant.com in San Francisco for lunch where we enjoyed delicious Prosciutto, Veal and Tiramisu while we tasted a few of his family’s wines. The Frescobaldi’s www.frescobaldi.it have been making wine in Tuscany, Italy for 700 years and Lamberto who is responsible for viticulture and winemaking represents the 30th generation of this winemaking dynasty. He shared some very interesting history with us, as they have sold wine to the Royal Courts of Europe, gifted wine to the Church and because wine has always been taxed that they still have invoices signed by Michelangelo!

North Beach Restaurant Veal

Frescobaldi’s wines take three to five years to release and each vintage has its challenges even though the weather conditions are generally consistent in Tuscany. We enjoyed the reasonably priced 2008 Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina. Rufina is the smallest of the Chianti regions. It lies above the Sieve River east of Florence and they enjoy perfect weather with long, warm, dry summers. Chianti from this region is highly regarded and the Nipozzano Riserva was excellent. It is interesting to note that the 2007 vintage of Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina was rated #1 out of the top 100 wines in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

2007 Mormoreto

We also enjoyed 2007 Castel Giocondo Brunello Di Montalcino, the 2009 Tenuta Frescobaldi Di Castiglioni but our favorite was the premium 2007 Mormoreto. This limited production excellent blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot has a deep red color, berry, spice and vanilla nose and is a worthy rival to the better Napa blends.

Lamberto Frescobaldi

We certainly enjoyed tasting and learning more about Italian Wines and now make a point to go to the Italian Section of our favorite wine shops to explore. We must agree with Lamberto, now that we know more about Italian wines…. the more unfaithful we may be to California wines. It is always exciting to broaden your knowledge and experience.


By Carol & Joe Davis