“My idea this year,” writes Monica Larner in a feature story on Franciacorta for the current issue of Wine Advocate, “is to start working on a definition of what Franciacorta is. This is not an easy task given that the wide world of Italian sparkling wines represents a cross section of style, methods, grapes and diverse territories. My hope is to start a conversation that can be continued over the next few years as the region reaches a better sense of territorial identity. It appears to me that Franciacorta has spent too much effort trying to communicate what it is not. The focus, I believe, should be on what it is.”
Her words are music to my ears!
And not only because I’ve been trying to get people to stop calling Franciacorta “Italy’s answer to Champagne” (see my post from earlier this year BREAKING NEWS: Franciacorta IS NOT CHAMPAGNE!).
Since she joined the Wine Advocate staff in 2013, Monica has made great strides in getting readers and wine lovers to revisit their perceptions of Italian viticulture.
In August of that same year, just a few months after her name appeared for the first time on Robert Parker, Jr.’s masthead, she expanded the publication’s vintage chart to include wines beyond Tuscany and Piedmont. This was a huge breakthrough for Italian wine and the people who love and drink it.
But perhaps more significantly, Monica has managed to infuse the pages of the storied Wine Advocate with a fresh approach and appeal for the increasingly youthful audience for fine wines in the U.S. today.
Her feature on Franciacorta is a great example of this, imho.
For obvious copyright reasons, I can’t repost her paywall article here but I highly recommend it to you. She also reviews 50 Franciacorta wines in the current issue of the magazine.
I don’t have any hard data to back this up but this is most likely the first time that a major wine publication has reviewed so many Franciacorta labels at once. How cool is that?
I did post the notes I sent her when she wrote me asking for a quote for the piece.
Check them out here on the Franciacorta Real Story blog that I’ve been writing this year as the official U.S. trade ambassador for the Franciacorta growers association.
Beyond her excellent work with Wine Advocate, wine and foodie Facebook users like me have been having a great time following her feed.
Whether she’s tasting the first bottle of Tignanello ever produced with Piero Antinori, vacationing in France, or just sharing nuggets from her life in Rome, she is expressing the best of what a life in fine wine has to offer.
And it’s just what Italian wine needs. Thank you, Monica! Chapeau bas…