acorkdork on 09/15/2008 at 16:12 PST
On August 25, I returned a bottle that was part of 3 bottles of Wildekrans Cab Franc/Merlot purchased the day before from The Cellars Wine & Spirits who conducts a retail business throughout Minnesota including a location in Eagan, where I had been vacationing.
Two of the bottles were opened at a party we attended in Minneapolis several hours later and had significant odor consistent with TCA. I returned the third bottle unopened and asked for a refund of that bottle only. The clerk at the Eagan store acknowledged that he recognized me from the prior day and he recalled that I purchased the wine but would not provide a refund because I did not have the original receipt. He did, however, retain the third bottle. That same day, I asked that the owner or manager call me. As of today’s date, I have yet to hear from him/her.
I am an avid wine collector/consumer and collecting in earnest since 1990. In that time, in spite of hundreds of contacts with wineries and wine brokers and negociants and retailers I have never (until now) encountered a retailer so unwilling to stand behind the product especially where, as here, the store clerk specifically recognized me and recalled the number of bottles purchased and despite the fact that I was only asking for the refund for the third bottle. I believe that I was being imminently fair in seeking only 1/3 of the money that I spent the day before and leaving the third bottle with the retailer. I left the bottle with the store clerk believing at the time that The Cellars Wine & Spirits would conduct itself within industry standards.
In my opinion, Wildekrans has apparently and inadvertently partnered with a retailer who is dishonest (in that it kept the wine without refunding the money), out of touch with the industry (by having a business model that adversely impacts wine consumers), inconsiderate of the consumer (upon whom the wine industry depends), myopic (focusing on profit per transaction and missing the opportunity to cultivate domestic consumption of South African exports which in turn fosters international competitiveness), stubbornly arrogant (by refusing to implement consumer service or even returning a telephone call), and who is poorly representative (the industry has always fostered politeness and a liberal return policy in an effort to protect brands and encourage sustainability).
Do yourself a favor, when it comes to Cellar Wine & Spirits in Minnesota, go somewhere else.
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