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“Fonterelli puts merlot in his Barolo,” said Gianlucca calmly, intense eyes unswerving. A mischievous light flickered in the back of his pupils, he lowered his voice and said, “I’ve heard he even has 2 ares of cabernet sauvignon planted in Cannubi for…color and fruit.” The last words were whispered, almost inaudible to Allesio.
“How is that possible?” shrieked Allesio. “Everyone knows Italian wine regulations allow only nebbiolo in D.O.C.G. Barolo!” Sweat gathered at his brow and on his palms. He had had a bottle of Fonterelli Barolo 1998 only the night before. It had been unusually purple for Barolo now that he thought about it and, struggling after fleeting taste-memories, he thought maybe, just maybe, there had been hints of cassis and plum. Had there been? Or had Gianlucca put the idea in his head? And the mouth-feel: was it a bit more plush than previous vintages? Allesio began to tremble with the strain of it and confusion engulfed him like darkest night.
Gianlucca, like a wolf, moved closer and in the same menacing whisper said, “His desk, yesterday…an invoice…new Allier barriques, enough to fill his cellar.” Allesio gasped and covered his face with his hands as a look of fright took him. His breath sputtered out in short bursts between his fingers. Reality was rent and he struggled to steady his frayed nerves. Again, Gianlucca in his ear: “They use those in Barossa and Napa.”
“Ahhhhhiiiieeeeeeeeeee NOOOOOOOOO!” screamed Allesio as he ran up to the cat walk and threw himself into the open top of the 100 year old Tini. He crashed through the cap and the violently fermenting nebbiolo opened up and swallowed him whole.
Gianlucca cackled triumphantly: “One more traditionalist for the vat. Barolo will be ours!”
Date Written: March 05, 2004Comments:
Author: John Slocum
Average Vote: 4.25
03/11/2004 Jon Matza (4): Enjoyed this - esp. "Had there been?" Almost a 5. My only complaint was not being entirely sure why Allesio took Gianlucca's info quite so hard, though I realize these traditionalists are sensitive. Was it merely dismay over the impurity/ illegality of Fonterelli's methods? Or humiliation over failing to notice various flavors while drinking the Fonterelli? Or something else?
03/11/2004 Craig Lewis (4): Terrific. Author: are we to understand that Gianlucca's Two Thousand Four Nebbiolo will have a faint tang of Allesio Ass-Hair in its finish? And if so, how will this jibe with your wine profile? With Robert Parker's?
03/11/2004 qualcomm (4): i've always maintained, and i think not fewer than 5 of you can back me up on this, that the high-stakes world of international oenology is peopled with the most nefarious cut-throats and bunco men from west hartford to far niente.
03/11/2004 John Slocum: Matza: why do you need to be 'entirely sure' why allesio took gianlucca's info hard? You didn't seem to need to be entirely sure why there was a comptroller in charge of saving NY from a giant water-bloated dog, not that the 2 shorts are analagous or comparable.
03/11/2004 Dylan Danko (4): Are there exercises one can do to increase taste memory? Also, seriously, is he putting both merlot and cabernet in his barolo or am i missing the cabernet joke about color and fruit?
03/11/2004 John Slocum: merlot typically gives plum aromas, cab typically gives cassis aromas. No joke. Barolo is usually light colored, brickish, but cab is more purple. Both merlot and cab are fruitier than nebbiolo. My ass gives wet jungle floor aromas and a brown color.
03/11/2004 Ewan Snow (5): I laughed a four star sort of laugh at this, but got the feeling that if I knew anything about wine, I'd be giggling at the particulars of the jokes as well, rather than merely at their mouth-feel, so you get a bonus point! Also, the names are good. Also, I like your insistence on only writing about wine. Also...
03/11/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum (4): Nice work, Nocum.
03/11/2004 John Slocum: snow: my next, next short doesn't mention wine, only sphincters. I hope I don't let you down.
03/11/2004 Ewan Snow: Are they grounded by a rosy bottom? Do they have a hint of chocolate? Scent of prune? Relaxed openenness? Wrinkly mouth-feel?
03/11/2004 Mr. Pony (4): This reads like Star Trek fan fiction, for some reason. Not that that's a bad thing.
03/11/2004 senator: I am going to wait to submit my rating. I couldn't get through the first 3 sentences. I must be missing something. I don't believe this short has many redeeming qualities. I doubt I will be able to read it again.
03/11/2004 Jon Matza: Slocum: you may have a point there. I just like to know my characters' motivations, that's all. In fact, it's a compliment in that I wouldn't have even wondered unless I'd developed a great deal of affection for, and become very, very attached to Alessio over the course of the short.
07/20/2004 scoop (5): This Gianlucca seems to be playing a dangerous game. I agree with Snow on this. I am even less qualified then he when it ocmes to the wines, but I think I am osmotically absorbing a boss joke somehow.
08/11/2004 Jimson S. Sorghum: I really wish I could go back and 5 this baby, if for the mouth-feel alone.