Robert Parker looks beyond Tuscany & Italy stands at a precipice

robert parker vintage charts

“For the first time, Piedmont and Tuscany won’t be the only regions to appear in the Italy column of the Wine Advocate vintage chart,” writes Italian enojournalist Luciano Ferraro this week on the Corriere della Sera wine blog (one of the highest-profile media platforms in Italian wine writing today).

“Beginning this year, Trentino-Alto Adige whites, Friuli wines, Veneto’s Amarone, Campania’s Taurasi, and Sicily’s Etna have been inserted,” reports Luciano.

News of this new vision for Robert Parker, Jr. comes in the form of an interview with the new Wine Advocate Italian editor, Monica Larner.

“The moment to tell the story of Italy’s other wonders has arrived,” says Monica. “Robert Parker agreed.”

You don’t need to be a subscriber to view the chart (here).

Italian wine and its relation with mainstream media still has a long way to go. But — there’s no doubt — this is a literally wonderful step in the right direction.

Chapeau bas, Monica!

Sadly, this good news comes along with some terribly unfortunate developments in Italy’s political scene.

umberto d

As loudly as I applaud former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s conviction on tax evasion by Italy’s highest court, I fear that the power imbalance caused by his tenuous political situation bodes badly for the country.

The “epic fail” of his People of Freedom party has considerably weakened the already fragile governing coalition.

On his Facebook, my good friend and client Paolo Cantele posted this quote from an editorial by Luca Ricolfi that appeared this week in the national daily La Stampa:

“If we are at this point today, it’s not because the judicial system has not allowed politicians to govern. It’s because of an entire class of politicians’ inability to govern… They have allowed judicial events to occupy an abnormally large space in our history.”

This dismal view of the current situation is echoed in a New York Times editorial that appeared two days ago, “It’s not just Silvio Berlusconi”:

“With such obvious weaknesses on both sides of the spectrum, the real winner of February’s elections was ‘none of the above.’ The patched-together government that finally emerged in April is an ungainly coalition with few achievements to its credit so far.”

I spent nearly a decade of my adult life living, studying, and working in Italy. And I continue to travel regularly there. So many of my closest friends live and work there. I have devoted my intellectual life to the study of Italian language, culture, and history, and more recently, to Italian enogastronomy.

My friends and their country are in my heart and in my prayers.

repubblica italiana

4 thoughts on “Robert Parker looks beyond Tuscany & Italy stands at a precipice

  1. RE: The Wine Advocate expanding its Italian coverage, all I can say is, “It’s about time.” The Advocate was stuck in a time warp with Italian wines. Parker seldom went there in his 35 years as editor, limiting his European visits to mainly Bordeaux and the Rhône. The expanded coverage of Italian wines can only help to educate the many wine consumers who know practically nothing about them, excepting perhaps the famous Super-Tuscans.

  2. Pingback: Terroirist: A Daily Wine Blog » Daily Wine News: Exciting Region

  3. Thank you Jeremy. I hope to have more news soon that underlines my commitment to Italian regional and genetic diversity. I see this as my mandate as a member of the Robert Parker team. It is a little weird that the vintage chart news is grouped together with Berlusca (my noisy neighbor) but I have anecdotes that link the two. I’ve been a member of the Italian Foreign Press Association for 15 years and I remember how impossible it was, not that long ago, to pitch articles on Italian politics to the American press. No one cared about the latest corruption scandal or failed Italian government. But pitch a wine/food/travel article and you had editors eating out of the palm of your hand. People just want to hear the happy news from Italy. When Berlusconi made Italy an object of ridicule, I appreciated how lucky I was to be reporting on Italian wine – arguably the truest, most comprehensive and most faithful narrator of the Italian reality (without the distracting shenanigans). Wine is an exquisite metaphor for the outstanding complexities of this nation. My Stampa Estera colleagues cover Italy through the optics of politics and finance. In my opinion, wine is the better beat for achieving the same goal.

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