And we return to Deetrane's dark tale of intrigue, wading through the swamp of the secondary market. Prepare yourself, dear reader, for this..the final chapter (cue: scary music, rain thrashing down outside your window, lightning, etc.).
At the end of the last installment Deetrane, instead of getting to work on time, was sitting in a police lockup wondering if Konstantin would learn of his complicity in the sting, but far more concerned about the fate of several of his cheaply (and illegally) obtained Barbaresco.
Will Deetrane get to keep the wine? Will Konstantin disembowel Deetrane, and feast upon his wine-ravaged liver? Read on, friend, as Deetrane, guest poster and pal extraordinare concludes this grisly tale of Adventures in Wine Buying.
So now that the guts of the story have been told, I can be a bit more introspective and get some things off of my chest. First of all, have this nagging guilt for turning Konstantin in. I know what he did was wrong, but I was profiting from it, too. The restaurant’s take was that if I hadn’t happened to pop in, the theft could have continued indefinitely. So they were grateful. But that thing he said to me in the car, with such a look of complete despair, ruin even, still sort of haunts me. So I don’t want anyone to think I am gloating. This story is really kind of sad.
Anyway, on to the conclusion. Apparently they made Konstantin stew inside an interrogation room for hours. He was sending text messages to Simon at Esca – desperate, pathetic messages, like “I’m so sorry. Please help me. I have no one.”
Meanwhile, the seven bottles I purchased for $150 in the sting were not enough to warrant grand larceny charges, unless they tied in testimony from me about the other 30+ bottles I had already purchased. But with all of the other criminal activity that takes place in the city, I guess the cops just didn’t have enough to book him then and there. So after a good couple days in the lockup, they gave him what is known as a “desk appearance ticket”, or a DAT. This means that they let you go, without arresting you, and tell you that you’ll need to come back later to be formally arrested. Meanwhile, the 1996 Roagna Barbaresco Paje did in fact simmer in the non-air conditioned 10th precinct until it was probably added to someone’s labor day sangria.
Konstantin was never heard from again. The scuttlebutt was that he jumped the first Aeroflot flight back to
Tenuta Rocca Barolo 2000 x 3
WS: Silky and tight wine with pretty fresh rose and strawberry aromas and flavors. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine tannins and a refreshing, citric aftertaste. Clean and fresh style. Best after 2006. 300 cases made. –JS Score: 90, July 04 - Release Price: $50
Luigi Pira Barolo Marenca 2001 x 3
WS: Intense aromas of blackberries, lightly toasted oak and plums. Very intense. Full-bodied, with big velvety tannins and a long, caressing finish. Serious wine. Best after 2008. 1,000 cases made. –JS Score: 92, Oct 05
Varaldo Barbaresco Sori Loreto 1999 x 3
Paolo Conerno Barolo Ginestra 1999 x 3
Marziano & Enrico Abbona Barolo Pressenda 2000 x6
WS: Fantastic aromas of crushed flowers, licorice, raspberries and strawberries. Full-bodied, with a solid core of ripe fruit and supersilky tannins. Long. Fantastic for this producer. Best I have ever had from here. Best after 2009. 1,220 cases made. –JS Score: 94, July, 2004 – Release Price: $52
Paitin Barbaresco Sorì Paitin Vecchie Vigne 2001 x 3
WS: Rich and decadent, with mushroom, berry and cherry aromas and flavors. Full-bodied, with chewy tannins and a long, ripe fruit aftertaste. Big wine. This is always impressive. Much better than the 2000. Best after 2008. 400 cases made. –JS Score: 93, Dec 2004 – Release Price: $75
Azelia Barolo Bricco Fiasco 2001 x 3
WS: A soft and ripe red with plum and berry character and just a hint of meat. Full-bodied, with velvety tannins and a long finish. Best after 2008. 1,020 cases made. –JS Score: 93, Oct 2005, Release Price: $78
Piero Busso Barbaresco Borgese 1999 x 3
WS: Refined red. Aromas of berries and fresh herbs follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with refined tannins and a pretty, fruity finish. Best after 2006. 500 cases made. –JS, Score: 90, Nov 2002, Release Price: $52
Guido Porro Barolo Vigna S. Caterina 2001 x 3
WS: Extremely attractive aromas of roses, spices and light wood follow through to a medium-to-full body, with fine tannins and a pretty finish. Balanced and refined. Best after 2007. 280 cases made. –JS, Score: 90, Release Price $40
Tua Rita Toscana Giusto di Notri 2002 x 2
WS: This shows beautiful vanilla, violet and berry character on the nose. Medium- to full-bodied, with well-integrated tannins and a subtly complex finish. Fine wine. Very well done for the vintage. More balanced and refined than the 2001. Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Best after 2005. 2,450 cases made. –JS, Score: 90, Oct 2004, Release Price: $85
Cascina Ebreo Segreto 1999 x
WS: A traditionally-made (no filtration, wines aged at least two years in oak and another in bottle before release) blend of Barbera (85-90%) and Nebbiolo, made by two Swiss winemakers who bought the derelict estate in 1991. Apparently a well-kept Piedmontese secret.
Braida Barbera D’Asti Ai Suma 2001 x 3
Jammy, new world-style wine – tasted to me like an Amarone. Not quite to my style
Braida Barbera D’Asti Bricco
Big, leathery, huge monster wine. More to my palate, but could definitely mellow for a few more years.
So we are not quite yet at the end of the saga. I still ahve to drink all of the stuff. And I still wonder if I will find an angry Konstantin lurking one day outside my house. Thanks for reading, you all, but I have to go now, because there's a guy from Craig's List waiting outside with a few cases of Riedel glasses in his trunk...