Podere La Villa – Giacomo Toscana IGT (2014)

I drank this wine on my 46th birthday (January 31, if you’d like to send a bottle next year!) Unfortunately, my enjoyment of this delicious Italian Merlot was spoiled by a trip to the emergency room. Unbeknownst to me, I had stumbled into a patch of poison oak while hiking. It took a month for me to be able to walk normally!

This is a 100% Merlot from Tuscany crafted by the daughter and son-in-law of the late, great Giacomo Taschis, Ilaria. He died in 2016, not long after this wine from his daughter was released. Only 1,900 bottles of this wine were produced (their Merlot acreage isn’t that big) and I got a CASE!

Giacomo was an oenologist who became known as “The Father of Super-Tuscans” and for having kick-started the quality renaissance in Italian wine in the 1960s and 1970s. Some say he brought French style and techniques to antiquated Italian winemaking.

He worked with Piero Antinori and helped develop Sassicaia, Tignanello, and Solaia. He later helped in both Sicily (Donnafugata) and in Sardinia. Basically, this guy “dragged Italian wine kicking and screaming into the 20th century,” as Jancis Robinson wrote.
Decanter’s “Man of the Year” in 2012

Giacomo Toscana IGT Podere La Villa 2015 (750ML) zoom

*** My tasting notes

Lovely. Dark purple, nose of blackberry and cedar. Medium-heavy in the mouth, the alcohol levels were in the middle of the range for Merlots at 14.5%. Plush black fruits. Going to love tasting the remaining bottles over the next few years!

WINEKNOW FACTS:

  • Most Europe labels its wines by region. Within that region, only certain grapes are allowed. So Tuscany is mostly about Sangiovese – BY LAW.
  • The “Super Tuscans” are massively popular Italian wines made from international grape varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah) and often blended with Sangiovese.
  • Since they’re not following the rules, these winemakers are forced to indicate their wine as IGT (Italian for ‘typical of this region’) which doesn’t sound very high-end at all.
  • But no matter. Wines like Tignanello and Sassicaia are global superstars.

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