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.
St. Innocent Winery