WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby David M. Bueker » Sun Oct 22, 2006 9:08 pm

Various items from the weekend:

2004 Reichsrat von Buhl Riesling Spätlese Forster Jesuitengarten (Pfalz)
Taken to a very nice BYO Asian restaurant on Friday night. Tropical fruit and brisk finishing acidity. The sweetness is nicely balanced, and it's very freindly with spicy fare. Still quite tasty tonight (Sunday) even though the acids seems to have backed off a touch. Very good breadth of fruit.

2003 Melville Syrah Estate (Central Coast)
Dark purple color, with blueberry and crushed blackberry fruit on the nose. Ripe, but not candied on the palate. Not much structure, and no acid to speak of, but not so ripe as to be totally overdone. Not my favorite style by a long shot, but not a bad wine.

2004 St. Innocent Pinot Gris Shea Vineyard (Willamette Valley)
My prior bottle of this had been corked, so they sent me another one (kudos to St. Innocent). This showed very nice Pinot Gris typicity (pears and pineapples with a smoky edge) while being relatively light on its feet and dry. Good persistence and overall flavors. Very nice.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22135
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 23, 2006 3:32 pm

2004 St. Innocent Pinot Gris Shea Vineyard (Willamette Valley)
My prior bottle of this had been corked, so they sent me another one (kudos to St. Innocent). This showed very nice Pinot Gris typicity (pears and pineapples with a smoky edge) while being relatively light on its feet and dry. Good persistence and overall flavors. Very nice.


How'd you get them to do that? I once had two bottles of St. Innocent pinot turn up corked in less than a week. They were not the same wine, but the coincidence had me feeling especially robbed so I emailed the winery. I figured as a long-time customer, there'd be no problem with my politely asking for them to replace the bottles. HECK NO. Mark replied something about being a winery, not a restaurant--at one you can return bad bottles, at the other you can't. I thought that rather condescending.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26383
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:23 pm

I e-mailed and got a very nice response, and a bottle when the weather got cool enough.

I do post on eBob, so perhaps they were afraid of me. (Not that I would "out" them over there, but people do things like that a lot on eGobsofhedonisticfruit.com.)

Of course they probably have Pinot Gris laying around whereas the Pinot Noir sells out quite efficiently.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22135
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:12 pm

Well, it's too bad all direct-buy customers aren't treated equally. Shame on me for thinking it should be like that.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26383
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby David M. Bueker » Mon Oct 23, 2006 6:35 pm

Was your experience a while ago or recently?
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22135
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jason Hagen » Mon Oct 23, 2006 7:54 pm

Jenise wrote:
How'd you get them to do that? I once had two bottles of St. Innocent pinot turn up corked in less than a week. They were not the same wine, but the coincidence had me feeling especially robbed so I emailed the winery. I figured as a long-time customer, there'd be no problem with my politely asking for them to replace the bottles. HECK NO. Mark replied something about being a winery, not a restaurant--at one you can return bad bottles, at the other you can't. I thought that rather condescending.



Whoa...that is terrible. I hope the policy has changed since I try to have a "no buy" policy from producers or stores that don't replace corked wine. Of course this is easier when dealing with domestic producers.

Jason
User avatar
Jason Hagen
Wine guru
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:03 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jenise » Mon Oct 23, 2006 8:31 pm

This was within the last two years, David--I know I was living in this house at the time. I very nearly created a stink by discussing it on this board, wish now I'd done it. I kept it in my inbasket for so long, meaning to deal with it somehow, that I'm amazed it's not one of the 787 pieces still in there but alas I cannot find it.

And Jason--I very nearly stopped buying from him, too. I've had producers who didn't know me from Adam replace bad bottles (I've probably only requested that three or four times, but in each case the response was a swift "of course"), so I thought surely this would be a no brainer for a customer who has ten cases of his wine in her cellar at any one time and who buys directly from him. But he said flat out no, made the comment about the difference between wineries vs. restaurants, and attested that he himself would never expect a winery to replace a corked bottle. So much for deliberately trying to help small wineries by putting all the profit directly in their pocket--before I moved here and before the big points on the 02's I could have bought his wine from the Wine Ex in Orange any time. But I rarely did (though I have purchased at auction, and direct at the tasting room that handles his wines outside of McMinneville). Anyway, still love his wines, but I'm over the loyalty thing.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26383
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jason Hagen » Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:17 pm

I am very bummed about this and will look into for my own peace of mind. I know that some wine-makers think this way. You have to love someone like Brian Loring who actually has a line on his mailer for how many off bottles you bought. It doesn't matter where you bought them. They replace the bottles with no questions asked (usually with the current vintage). Of course they now use screw caps. :D But they did replace some 02s I had that were clearly flawed. Again no questions asked.

I really hope David's experience represents a change in policy.

Jason
User avatar
Jason Hagen
Wine guru
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:03 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jenise » Tue Oct 24, 2006 12:02 pm

Jason, agreed on the kudos for Brian Loring. In fact, Brian has done just about everything right, hasn't he?

Re St. Innocent, if you ask Mark about this, please let me know what he says. I'm very unhappy with the thought that some people apparently do get bottles replaced, where I was refused.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26383
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jason Hagen » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:23 pm

Oh...if you didn't already know...there is no more Shea Pinot Gris (at least not for SI) They ripped it up and planted Pinot Noir.

Jason
User avatar
Jason Hagen
Wine guru
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:03 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby David M. Bueker » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:26 pm

Jason Hagen wrote:Oh...if you didn't already know...there is no more Shea Pinot Gris (at least not for SI) They ripped it up and planted Pinot Noir.

Jason


As if there's a shortage of Shea Pinot Noir...too bad.
There behind the glass lies a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along. Move along.
User avatar
David M. Bueker
Riesling Guru
 
Posts: 22135
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Mark Vlossak » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:36 pm

Jenise,
The link to your posting was forwarded to me through Jason Hagen and Tim Ramey.

I am very disturbed by your reaction to my note to regarding replacing corked bottles. It is not my intention to irritate my customers, nor is it my intention for you or anyone else to feel that they have been spoken to in a condescending manner.

Clearly, I failed. I apologize.

First and foremost, I believe in producing top quality wines at a fair price. Next, is to have happy customers. You are unhappy and that was reason enough to re-think my comments, and quite frankly, St. Innocent's policy.

That policy is: St. Innocent will replace corked wine if requested to do so by our customers. If it is not possible to replace the exact wine, we will replace the wine with a similar quality/vineyard designated bottle.

Jenise, I will replace your wine, happily. I do not remember which wines they were, so please e-mail me the details and I will send the wines.

There are some things I would like to clarify. I do not like corked wine, or wine flawed in any way. I believe that is a winemaker's responsibility to produce sound wine that delivers what is expected: wine that reflects its origins, vintage, and varietal, a the style of the winemaker. I feel that I go to great lengths to purchase the cleanest corks possible: every bale is screened for cork taint. We use only peroxide treated corks, never chlorine. I buy top quality corks at a high price to reduce the chance of cork taint as much as I can (FIVE times the cost of synthetic closures).

It is not possible for a winery to purchase natural corks that have a zero risk of cork taint. The fact that some corks will produce corked wine is an inherent risk of using cork, not a winemaker's mistake, manufacturing defect, or oversight (in my opinion). Synthetic closures DO NOT age the same way as cork, this has been analytically demonstrated (see PRACTICAL WINERY 05/06), so I use cork (MY choice) for all of the wines I intend for long term aging. I make a very significant effort ($$) to minimize the number of corked bottles. To completely remove the risk of taint, all my other wines are sealed with NomaCork synthetic closures (and I save a boatload of money doing so).

The question here is: Did the winery produce a defective product that should be replaced? That question is now in your, the customers realm, If you believe no wine should be corked, St. Innocent will be happy to replace the bottle. I chose to use cork for some of my wines and accept the responsibility for that decision.

As to the other points you brought up in my response, let me clarify. When I go to a restaurant, I expect to drink the bottle I purchase. I pay a large premium to be guaranteed that the wine I buy will be in good condition. I do not buy wine from a wine shop or producer with the same expectations and do not pay the same premium price. However, that is my personal decision and I do not expect others to make the same choice. I have never returned a corked bottle purchased outside a restaurant (again, MY choice). My mistake was to allow my personal feelings to cloud my responsibility to my customers.
Sincerely,
Mark Vlossak
winemaker
St. Innocent Winery
Mark Vlossak
Just got here
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 3:53 pm

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jason Hagen » Wed Nov 01, 2006 8:09 pm

Mark,

Thank you very much for your thoughtful post. And thank you for the extra effort and $$$ you put into your corks. As I have more SI than any other wine in my cellar it is a testament that I have never had a corked bottle. It also makes me secure regarding the bottles that are sleeping.

Cheers and please pop by as often as time allows.

Jason
User avatar
Jason Hagen
Wine guru
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:03 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Tim Ramey » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:08 pm

Thanks for tipping me off to this board Jason!
Tim Ramey
Winegrower
Belle Provenance Vineyard
Tim Ramey
Just got here
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:17 pm
Location: Eola-Amity Hills, OR

On corked wine

Postby James Dietz » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:38 pm

I am re-reading Kermit Lynch's Adventures on the Wine Route and he says that `If one loves natuaral wines, one accepts an occassional calamity' in the cellar. Now he is talking about not sterilizing wines in this case, and that some bottle will go bad whent they are not, but using corks instead of artificial corks is more or less in the same boat.

I have told wineries about corked wines, not to get a new bottle, but to altert them to something that might be a wider problem. In every case, I was offered a new bottle. For wines that I buy retail, I have never returned a corked wine since I figure, like Lynch says, it is going to happen, we all know it, and it's just something to accept.

Brian Loring's policy is clearly very unusual, but it certainly helps to build a loyal buyer base, and for a winery like LWC, that is a significant part of the business.
Cheers, Jim
User avatar
James Dietz
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1235
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:45 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:56 pm

Aagh, another vigneronne! Great and I am ready for some inside information. Hope to see you here again Tim.
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9555
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Tim Ramey » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:15 pm

Thanks!

Inside information.... Hmmmm.... I'm also a securities analyst (day job) so I'd better leave that WAAAAY alone.
Tim Ramey
Winegrower
Belle Provenance Vineyard
Tim Ramey
Just got here
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:17 pm
Location: Eola-Amity Hills, OR

Re: On corked wine

Postby Jason Hagen » Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:45 am

James Dietz wrote:
For wines that I buy retail, I have never returned a corked wine since I figure, like Lynch says, it is going to happen, we all know it, and it's just something to accept.


Really? I would never buy from a store that would not replace defective product. Knowingly at least. So if you buy a carton of milk (and paid $40 for it) and it comes out it chunks do you just accept it? You know that Winex would never bat an eye if you walk in with a corked bottle right?

Don't get me started on this subject :P but Kermit...come on ...that is silly talk :roll:

And as far as B. Loring, I don't think I buy from any American producers that don't have the same policy.

:D Jason
User avatar
Jason Hagen
Wine guru
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:03 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: On corked wine

Postby James Dietz » Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:03 pm

Since virtually all of my corked wines have been inexpensive, I have not returned any.. I know WX would take them back.

Now, maybe if that $150 Latour is corked....ok.. back I go.. :lol:

With milk, however, there is not a more-or-less known chance of it being bad, as with wine. So, somewhat different.. no?

Enjoy Amsterdam, Jas!!
Cheers, Jim
User avatar
James Dietz
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1235
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 7:45 pm
Location: Orange County, California

Re: WTN: von Buhl Spätlese, Melville Syrah, St. Innocent Pinot Gris

Postby Jenise » Thu Nov 02, 2006 4:03 pm

Mark, thank you being concerned and coming to this forum to explain, it's really appreciated. Apology accepted, and I'll contact you via email.

And yes, corked wines are a fact of life. Had two this week, matter of fact, and like most savvy wine consumers, I shrug off most of them. But like Jason, from the very few wineries I buy from direct, I've come to expect and in fact been encouraged to ask for, the replacement of any corked bottles. It was from that frame of mind that I emailed you (via your website) upon, after never having had a corked St. Innocent that I could recall (in the decade plus I've been buying your wines), having something like three corked St. Innocents in two weeks. That unfortunate spike (all unrelated, the wines were different bottlings) is what prompted me to ask for replacement.

Anyway, again, thank you for the clarification. It means a lot that you went to this kind of trouble.

Jenise
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26383
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: On corked wine

Postby Jason Hagen » Thu Nov 02, 2006 6:44 pm

James Dietz wrote:
With milk, however, there is not a more-or-less known chance of it being bad, as with wine. So, somewhat different.. no?


Hmmm....Okay bad example. Wine has a chance of being bad but that is different than a wine-maker putting a spoiled peice of product into the wine. Corked wines are ruined from the moment they put that spoiled piece of crap in there. IMHO that is not consumer risk. They ruined it by adding spoiled packaging. I see that as the sellers responsibility. AGAIN THAT IS IN MY HUMBLE OPINION. I value a wine-maker that goes to the extra lenghts to make sure their packaging is good. I have had some wine-makers admit to me that they have upped the quality of their corks. I am a consumer and I think it is ridiculous that this is still a problem in this day in age. :)



I guess this is my own personal crusade...but again I am just a conumer :roll:

Okay...how about you buy a CD or a DVD and it doesn't work? ... consumer risk? Do you just go buy another from the same store? Do you just walk in a take it ... you know where :oops: Or do you walk in with the defective product and ask them to replace it :)

Man I am grumpy and ready to be home..... :x


Cheers,

Jason
User avatar
Jason Hagen
Wine guru
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:03 pm
Location: SoCal


Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Carl Eppig, Google [Bot] and 8 guests