Village Wines in Nashville?

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Peter Hirsch
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Post #1  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 23rd 2013, 3:38am

I did a bunch of business with them (and Hoyt) over the years. Haven't heard from Hoyt and his 'specials' list in a few months. Got a call last week from someone who said there were some 'troubles' going on. This weekend, a friend said the store was closed and empty. Anyone know more about this?

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Post #2  Postby JJ Seiters » September 23rd 2013, 8:18am

I have heard he is gone. No one is sure where. The person answering the phone had quite a tale. Not sure how much is true, so I don't want to repeat. He owed us some wine so it's going to be a credit card dispute. The gist is we were among the lucky, others are in much worse shape.
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Post #3  Postby p. raghib » September 23rd 2013, 9:06am

complete disaster.
cheers'

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Post #4  Postby p. raghib » September 23rd 2013, 9:09am

Peter-if you haven't called the store, you should. Quite a story and not a good one. I was expecting some Moreu burgs from him.

-paul
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Post #5  Postby Matthew Brown » September 23rd 2013, 9:12am

Is this a Carolina Wine Co. redux?
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Post #6  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 23rd 2013, 9:51am

I heard a story from the guy who called me, looking for another claimant. Seems amazing, and seems like bad things have been going on for quite a while. Not sure if this is a 'Carolina Wine' equivalent, or just like Silver Spirit out in St. James NY.

For me, I got lucky (for once). I'm owed neither wine nor money. Starting over a year ago, I refused to buy anything that wasn't available for immediate delivery.

Really sucks. A great store and a great guy while things were going on, great Burgs, etc. Just awful to see this bad ending (if the story I heard is true).
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Post #7  Postby david dickerson » September 23rd 2013, 10:47am

JJ Seiters wrote:I have heard he is gone. No one is sure where. The person answering the phone had quite a tale. Not sure how much is true, so I don't want to repeat. He owed us some wine so it's going to be a credit card dispute. The gist is we were among the lucky, others are in much worse shape.

JJ it is very bad. Glad it wasn't too bad for you guys. I was told to the tune of 2 million.I hope not. I also heard he is not in Nashville. Don't know for sure but he's house has been for sell for 6-8 months.
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Post #8  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 23rd 2013, 11:30am

$2 million???????
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Post #9  Postby Gerard S » September 23rd 2013, 1:55pm

last I heard it was over $2.2 million. Who knows what is really going on, but even in the most charitable view, it is bad.

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Post #10  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 23rd 2013, 3:24pm

Wow. Got no words for that. $2.2mm gone? And Hoyt gone?
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Post #11  Postby Gerard S » September 23rd 2013, 3:34pm

not gone. Still around from what I heard. They are still trying to sort it out. numbers could go up or down from here. New owner (who figured everything out) is going to send a mass email soon....
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Post #12  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 23rd 2013, 3:47pm

Geez that's just unbelievable. Did he have no records, keep no lists of the wines he owed people, etc? I know I had to constantly remind him, send him old emails that he sent me, confirming certain purchases and delivery dates.
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Post #13  Postby David McMillen » September 23rd 2013, 5:38pm

Did a drive by. The store is EMPTY.
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Post #14  Postby Scott Brunson » September 23rd 2013, 5:45pm

sounds quite a bit like Carolina Wine actually.
Thank goodness I got out of there in time
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Post #15  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 24th 2013, 2:54am

Wow. An institution in Nashville for decades, and a fantastic source for interesting Burgs for quite a while. I checked CT, so much wine in my cellar from Hoyt. Lots of Chave, Coche Dury, DRC, Dujac, Leroy, Rouget, Rousseau. Got so many vintages of each, all from this store. So terrible that it ended this way....
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Post #16  Postby Gerard S » September 24th 2013, 5:38am

It is sad. Hoyt has been a friend for quite some time and this is disappointing and sad. I have two or three cases pending, but luckily did not pay up front for those. Good luck to those of you who are still owed wine/money. For out of towners, if you need any local help, drop me a PM and the Nashville crew will try and help.
Last edited by Gerard S on September 24th 2013, 11:32am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post #17  Postby Paul N i e l s e n » September 24th 2013, 6:58am

I arrived in Nashville in 2003 and, for whatever reason, ended up doing my business elsewhere over the years. My condolences to any locals impacted by this.
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Post #18  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 24th 2013, 11:22am

Looks like Hoyt has a new venture. Just not in Tennessee...
Prices not very attractive, I have to say..

http://world100pointwines.com/
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Post #19  Postby M Kelly » September 24th 2013, 6:54pm

Wow! Those are, I think, the worst prices I have EVER seen.
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Post #20  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 25th 2013, 3:09am

Yep, horrible prices. If Hoyt is venturing into the world of on-line retailing (rather than running a store in a state that doesn't allow out-of-state shipping), he's gonna have to learn to use both Wine Market Journal and WSPro to think about where to set his prices...
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Post #21  Postby M A T T H A R T L E Y » September 25th 2013, 4:12am

He may just trying to be unloading his personal collection
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Post #22  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 25th 2013, 4:23am

Could be, but whoever inputted the data in the screens is not much of a 'wine person'.
Also if he has a personal collection, he better sell it really quick if the stories are true, as the courts are going to make him disgorge that pretty fast.

"Monfertino". A 100 point wine site mis-spelling the name of one of the greatest wines of Italy?

2009 Fourrier 'Lavaux St. Jacques' for $785 per bottle. Forget the price that's probably a double vs WSPro, I don't think Fourrier has any Lavaux St. Jacques (of course they have Clos St Jacques).

I'm sure there are a ton more mistakes, I just got shocked by prices and stopped looking. $1,000 for 2008 Grivot 'Richebourg'??? $3,000 for 2009 Latour??? $1,200 for 2000 Pavie???? Maybe Hoyt forgot that this is an internet wine offering, easily comparable vs other internet wine offerings. Maybe he thought he was making up the wine list for the French Laundry or Per Se???
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Post #23  Postby M Kelly » September 25th 2013, 5:06am

Def not the wine list for Troisgros...popped my Coche Perrieres cherry for 360E.
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Post #24  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 25th 2013, 5:55am

Wow, that's a sweet price, esp in a restaurant. Love that place, the classic Lobster done 2 ways, also the hotel upstairs, makes it so easy to overindulge and then just off to sleep...
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Post #25  Postby M A T T H A R T L E Y » September 25th 2013, 8:30am

Peter Hirsch wrote:Could be, but whoever inputted the data in the screens is not much of a 'wine person'.
Also if he has a personal collection, he better sell it really quick if the stories are true, as the courts are going to make him disgorge that pretty fast.

"Monfertino". A 100 point wine site mis-spelling the name of one of the greatest wines of Italy?

2009 Fourrier 'Lavaux St. Jacques' for $785 per bottle. Forget the price that's probably a double vs WSPro, I don't think Fourrier has any Lavaux St. Jacques (of course they have Clos St Jacques).

I'm sure there are a ton more mistakes, I just got shocked by prices and stopped looking. $1,000 for 2008 Grivot 'Richebourg'??? $3,000 for 2009 Latour??? $1,200 for 2000 Pavie???? Maybe Hoyt forgot that this is an internet wine offering, easily comparable vs other internet wine offerings. Maybe he thought he was making up the wine list for the French Laundry or Per Se???


I do love me some Monfertino... :)
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Post #26  Postby Gerard S » September 25th 2013, 8:36am

Someone should get label pictures to determine if they were "made in China"
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Post #27  Postby David McMillen » September 25th 2013, 9:27am

I'm puzzled as to how this new venture could be going on if he is sitting under the weight of a $2M Ponzi scheme.
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Post #28  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 25th 2013, 9:30am

Costs little to just put up a website? Esp if it's hardcoded?
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Post #29  Postby Chris Blum » September 25th 2013, 10:00am

David McMillen wrote:I'm puzzled as to how this new venture could be going on if he is sitting under the weight of a $2M Ponzi scheme.


Yeah. Me too.
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Post #30  Postby Nick Gangas » September 25th 2013, 4:43pm

So is someone going to tell us what happened here ?
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Post #31  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 26th 2013, 3:25am

So as near as I can make out from 1,000 miles away, Hoyt seems to have sold wine for forward delivery, can't make delivery (he doesn't have the wine) and can't return the money (it's gone?). According to people on the phone, it's upwards of 40 people on the hook for varying amounts, and the total is in excess of $2,000,000.00, so an average of $80,000.00 of wine per person, undelivered.
Terrible story, seems to be like a slow motion train wreck that happened over the course of the last few years.
Hoyt had amazing wine connections (in Burgundy, Northern Rhone), he got fantastic bottles into the store, and was a great retailer for such a long period of time, terrible to see it end this way (if the info is correct).
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Post #32  Postby Nick Gangas » September 26th 2013, 9:26am

Thanks Peter. Yes very sad if true.
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Post #33  Postby Andrew Kaufman » September 27th 2013, 5:57pm

Peter Hirsch wrote:So as near as I can make out from 1,000 miles away, Hoyt seems to have sold wine for forward delivery, can't make delivery (he doesn't have the wine) and can't return the money (it's gone?). According to people on the phone, it's upwards of 40 people on the hook for varying amounts, and the total is in excess of $2,000,000.00, so an average of $80,000.00 of wine per person, undelivered.
Terrible story, seems to be like a slow motion train wreck that happened over the course of the last few years.
Hoyt had amazing wine connections (in Burgundy, Northern Rhone), he got fantastic bottles into the store, and was a great retailer for such a long period of time, terrible to see it end this way (if the info is correct).


2 million gone? Seems like more than a few years.
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Post #34  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 28th 2013, 3:10am

Yep, sure seems like that would take more than a few years. Maybe it went on for much longer, and got bigger and bigger over time?
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Post #35  Postby p. raghib » September 30th 2013, 3:16pm

cheers'

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Post #36  Postby Peter Hirsch » September 30th 2013, 3:22pm

Wow. And that was only 9 months ago. Crazy...
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Post #37  Postby Russ Williams » September 30th 2013, 4:59pm

How in the hell would 40+ souls be dumb enough to give someone $80K on a promise to deliver something in the future. Maybe $5K, even $10K, but $80K?? Good Lord!!! Do things like this ever lead to prison time??
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Post #38  Postby Michael Bowden » September 30th 2013, 5:15pm

Russ Williams wrote:How in the hell would 40+ souls be dumb enough to give someone $80K on a promise to deliver something in the future. Maybe $5K, even $10K, but $80K?? Good Lord!!! Do things like this ever lead to prison time??


One simple explanation is Bordeaux Futures.

80K is not that much to some people.

Sherry Lehmann for example is/was selling 2011 Latour for $8,400 a case. So, 9 cases is 75K+. Extremely easy to run up that big of a bill if not more. Just imagine buying futures for all 5 first growths, 2 cases each, maybe a case of mags, over a couple of vintages, etc... And that's just bordeaux....


http://www.sherry-lehmann.com/red-wine/ ... illac-2011
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Post #39  Postby Russ Williams » September 30th 2013, 5:44pm

Michael Bowden wrote:
Russ Williams wrote:How in the hell would 40+ souls be dumb enough to give someone $80K on a promise to deliver something in the future. Maybe $5K, even $10K, but $80K?? Good Lord!!! Do things like this ever lead to prison time??


One simple explanation is Bordeaux Futures.

80K is not that much to some people.

Sherry Lehmann for example is/was selling 2011 Latour for $8,400 a case. So, 9 cases is 75K+. Extremely easy to run up that big of a bill if not more. Just imagine buying futures for all 5 first growths, 2 cases each, maybe a case of mags, over a couple of vintages, etc... And that's just bordeaux....


http://www.sherry-lehmann.com/red-wine/ ... illac-2011


I thought this would be the answer. Another case of too much money and not enough sense. [snort.gif]
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Post #40  Postby M Kelly » September 30th 2013, 6:20pm

Always the debate, but if someone offers you 3pk Conti, DRC Mags and volume of many other rare birds, the tab can get up there pretty quickly.
I think I am above average intelligence. I would love to have the cash to have "not enough sense." To each his own!
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Post #41  Postby Russ Williams » September 30th 2013, 6:46pm

To each his own indeed Mike. Who am I to judge if someone thinks spending $80K+ with nothing to show for it is a wise move.
"That said, if you prefer the Russian River pinots, you probably have the palate of a yak."
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Post #42  Postby M Kelly » September 30th 2013, 6:57pm

Done all the time in the futures/EP business if you want the rare birds Hoyt dealt with. Would you pony up 13k for a 3pk of Conti and another 4500 for a 3pk of Chave Cathelin? If no, then of course it seems foolish. If yes, then it is easy to see how 80k gets there pretty quickly.

Whether those are "worth it" is the constant debate on this board and not anything I think either of us want to debate, as there is no point.

NOW, maybe if you have that cash, it is wiser to pay the premium to get them from a broker who has a past vintage in hand, but then someone would call that dumb.
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Post #43  Postby Peter Hirsch » October 1st 2013, 2:41am

The deal with Hoyt was that you had to pay when he got the offer, not when the wine came in. He didn't have the capital to put out to pay all the different suppliers, sometimes many months in advance. So you might wait a month or you might wait 6 months, but wine got delivered. I have a bunch of Leroy and Dujac and DRC and Rousseau and Coche Dury in my cellar, all from Hoyt. No idea when or how the model switched to some kind of a pyramid scheme, selling multiple lots of Cathelin and RC to pay off people who were owed La Tache and Chave.
As Mike said, this is a constant tradeoff when searching for the 'rare birds'. Do you pay more today from someone who has the wine in stock (and had the capital to pay the suppliers up front)? Or do you look for someone with less capital, help them pay their suppliers, and then get a much better deal on the wine when it arrives? The difference can be as much as 25-50%.
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Post #44  Postby Peter Hirsch » October 1st 2013, 2:43am

And at Hoyt's rates, a 3-pack of RC, a 12 pack of La Tache, a 6 pack of Leroy 'Musigny', a 6 pack of Leroy 'Chambertin' and a 3 pack of Cathelin and you're up to $70,000 right there for just 2.5 cases of wine...
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Post #45  Postby Mike S h o r » October 2nd 2013, 7:41am

After buying from Hoyt for many many years, I started to run into issues last year, which quickly turned fishy. Several times, he falsely claimed to have given me a refund which "must not have gone through." After I threatened legal action, he finally refunded my (relatively small) claim. Three or four years ago, this news would have really surprised me. Now, it doesn't.
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Post #46  Postby Peter Hirsch » October 2nd 2013, 8:07am

Same here with the "refund that must not have gone through" thing.
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Post #47  Postby David McMillen » October 2nd 2013, 9:31am

Interesting that this isn't being publicly talked about here in Nashville. Not on the news, in the papers, etc.
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Post #48  Postby Russ Williams » October 2nd 2013, 10:42am

If this is true we are talking about fraud correct? Thus, is jail time on the table. Did anyone associated with Carolina Wine Co. do jail time?
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Post #49  Postby Dave H. » October 2nd 2013, 10:44am

This has been a fascinating thread. We popped into two Nashville wine shops on our recent trip there--Village and Woodland Wine Merchant.
Village Wines was unremarkable, but in hindsight seemed to have a relatively small amount of inventory on display. Had no idea their main trade was in high ticket Burgs and whatnot.
For what it's worth, I thought Woodland was a really nice shop. Friendly, helpful staff. Solid selection. Good spirits.
But I was just a tourist.
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Post #50  Postby Michael Bowden » October 2nd 2013, 11:17am

Peter Hirsch wrote:Same here with the "refund that must not have gone through" thing.


Same here....

I contacted AMEX. Problem solved.
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