“My idea this year,” writes Italian wine reviewer Monica Larner in 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.”
It’s just fantastic to hear one of the world’s leading Italian wine writers take such a fresh approach to the wines of Franciacorta which are sadly all too often referred to as “Italy’s answer to Champagne.”
As much as I would like to, I can’t reproduce the entire article here (because of copyright issues).
But here’s the link to the complete article (highly recommended but behind a paywall).
I can however post what I wrote for her when she contacted me about giving her a quote for the piece.
Here’s what I wrote in an attempt to sum up Franciacorta in 100 words:
Alpine as opposed to continental climate, riper fruit at harvest, lower dosage, and lower residual sugar make for wines that are brilliantly fresh and more vinous in character, with more delicate fizziness and more creaminess (thanks to fewer atmospheres). Where yeasty and toasty notes can often dominate transalpine wines, vibrant fruit and rich minerality (some would even call it “salinity”) define Franciacorta. Growers have a broad spectrum of subsoils in Franciacorta, ranging from deep and shallow morainic to limestone and clay (68 distinct soil types have been identified there). This gives them great breadth in crafting their blends. As result, site generally trumps style there.