Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

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Michael Sterling
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Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#1 Post by Michael Sterling »

Every so often I see corked bottle notes on CellarTracker about Franny Beck wines. Sometimes I’m able to figure out who the note taker is based off their handle or location. Often it’s easier when it’s someone whose bought from us for a long time and I know them, personally.

I’d just like to say here, and I’m certain every winemaker participating on this site will agree, that I wish people would contact me when they open corked bottles of ours. I will replace every corked bottle, every time, no questions asked. You can email me or PM on this site or through our website and I’ll send you a free of charge replacement, shipping included. Cork taint is no fault of the buyer and my wish is that you get to experience my wine at peak performance. Thanks everyone
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#2 Post by John Glas »

I’d just like to say here, and I’m certain every winemaker participating on this site will agree, that I wish people would contact me when they open corked bottles of ours. I will replace every corked bottle, every time, no questions asked.
Great policy. champagne.gif

I hate when people don't use the flaw feature on on oxidized or heat damaged wines and give the wine a 60.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#3 Post by Paul Flynn »

IMO, there's no point in posting notes on corked bottles. They're not representative and typically, they're not anyone's fault.

When I open a corked bottle, I generally contact wineries from whom I have purchased directly. The results are mixed. The majority will promptly replace the bottle or offer a refund. Some, a small number, simply ignore you or make promises that are not kept.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#4 Post by J. Migone »

Thanks Michael.... As consumers, I tend to go back to where I purchased the wine. I haven't had any issues getting refunds so far. I will keep this in mind and it's good to know that some winemakers care about that. I'm not sure it applies to the larger winemaking operations, but I may be wrong.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#5 Post by Andrew K. »

Great post and glad to hear it. I've never had an issue getting a bottle replaced due to cork taint or premox when it's been recently purchased at a reputable retailer. I think the gray area is what about 10 years later you've been aging this wine and it's tainted, what are they apt to do about it then?
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#6 Post by John Glas »

IMO, there's no point in posting notes on corked bottles. They're not representative and typically, they're not anyone's fault.
Disagree.

While it is no one's fault it is important to see if there was a batch of bad wine. I would think a wine maker would like to know this to look at future wine making processes and maybe alternative closures. Plus the fault feature does not allow for a score. As I said above putting a score for a flawed wine is not something we should do.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#7 Post by Chris C a r y »

Are you suggesting they don’t post a tasting note saying “corked” on CellarTracker?

To me it’s a useful note if I have the wine to look for possible corked bottles. The type of closure, natural cork, diam or other composite, glass, screw top, etc... obviously does matter and an occasional corked bottle/note is to be expected, so it doesn’t affect my buying decision, but it’s useful information.

I’ve also contacted wineries at times but usually just consider it part of life and move on.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#8 Post by Rodrigo B »

Paul Flynn wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:55 am IMO, there's no point in posting notes on corked bottles. They're not representative and typically, they're not anyone's fault.

When I open a corked bottle, I generally contact wineries from whom I have purchased directly. The results are mixed. The majority will promptly replace the bottle or offer a refund. Some, a small number, simply ignore you or make promises that are not kept.
There's no reason you can't do both of those. I think noting corked bottles is important and useful especially if you’re dealing with older wines. Sometimes you have wines that have bad run of corks and knowing there’s an increased risk of purchasing a flawed bottle is incredibly helpful, much like reports of premox in TN. They let consumers know of any potential issues that may happen with their bottles.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#9 Post by Eric White »

Great policy. My experience is that most winemakers/proprietors feel the same. I recently had a corked 2001 Napa Cab, and while the winery couldn't replace the same bottle 20 years later, they replaced in kind without hesitation. I also don't feel there should be a time limit on such a policy, particularly when a wine is built to age.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#10 Post by Ben M a n d l e r »

Paul Flynn wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:55 am IMO, there's no point in posting notes on corked bottles. They're not representative and typically, they're not anyone's fault.
I think it is useful to post a note, both for myself and others. That way I can:
A) see over time what proportion of wines are flawed and keep easy, searchable records about which wines they were and what the flaw was.
B) see the incidence of flaws in others’ bottles of wine before buying.
C) provide some information to another person who might think something is weird about their wine but not have the knowledge or confidence to identify it as a flaw - this can help limit the number of red-herring 50-point reviews.

I would never post a score on a flawed bottle of wine. And when I do post a score on a wine where I suspect there could be a low-level flaw, I always include that as a possibility in the written note.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#11 Post by D@ve D y r 0 f f »

Andrew K. wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:58 am Great post and glad to hear it. I've never had an issue getting a bottle replaced due to cork taint or premox when it's been recently purchased at a reputable retailer. I think the gray area is what about 10 years later you've been aging this wine and it's tainted, what are they apt to do about it then?
This is how it happens to me most often. Most recently, a 1995 Rostaing "La Landonne" - from my daughter's birth year and opened to celebrate her engagement. Ouch, ouch, and ouch. I'm not sure where I purchased it back in 1998 or whenever it was released. Kermit was the importer but doesn't carry Rostaing anymore. And it's not like Rene can ship me a bottle from France (and the shipping on one bottle would be ridiculous). Of course, I'd love a replacement bottle, but I don't see that happening.

Major props to Franny Beck and all who follow the same policy!

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#12 Post by Paul Flynn »

Ben M a n d l e r wrote: February 20th, 2021, 8:14 am
Paul Flynn wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:55 am IMO, there's no point in posting notes on corked bottles. They're not representative and typically, they're not anyone's fault.
I think it is useful to post a note, both for myself and others. That way I can:
A) see over time what proportion of wines are flawed and keep easy, searchable records about which wines they were and what the flaw was.
B) see the incidence of flaws in others’ bottles of wine before buying.
C) provide some information to another person who might think something is weird about their wine but not have the knowledge or confidence to identify it as a flaw - this can help limit the number of red-herring 50-point reviews.

I would never post a score on a flawed bottle of wine. And when I do post a score on a wine where I suspect there could be a low-level flaw, I always include that as a possibility in the written note.
You're right. I suppose I don't use CellarTracker the way in which it is intended and certainly not the way that you do. For me, CellarTracker is where I go to see others reviews of wine. I don't track anything there so I didn't consider the uses that you have for it.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#13 Post by John Glas »

Thanks Michael.... As consumers, I tend to go back to where I purchased the wine. I haven't had any issues getting refunds so far.
It amazes me how many people say they dump the wine down the drain. As a wine maker I would want you to return it and get a replacement so you would possibly buy my wine in the future instead of saying it is a bad wine (non cellar tracker and wine berserker member example).

Most places in the Twin Cities refund but occasionally I get the interrogation treatment. Needless to say I don't shop at those places. The consumer should never eat the cost of a flawed bottle.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#14 Post by JBrochu »

John Glas wrote: February 20th, 2021, 8:44 am
Thanks Michael.... As consumers, I tend to go back to where I purchased the wine. I haven't had any issues getting refunds so far.
It amazes me how many people say they dump the wine down the drain. As a wine maker I would want you to return it and get a replacement so you would possibly buy my wine in the future instead of saying it is a bad wine (non cellar tracker and wine berserker member example).

Most places in the Twin Cities refund but occasionally I get the interrogation treatment. Needless to say I don't shop at those places. The consumer should never eat the cost of a flawed bottle.
Do most places ask you to send the corked wine back? Most of my corked wines come from a retailer with a policy that anything purchased older than 10 y/o is at the customers risk, so those just go down the drain, as I knew the policy and risk when I made the purchase.

The only other corked bottles I've had also went down the drain, but I just shot the importer an email and he's always immediately credited or replaced and he has never asked me to return the corked bottle. (Although thinking about this now, I guess people with poor ethics could take advantage of such a policy.)

Edit: On CT I mark them as flawed and usually write "corked" with no score.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#15 Post by John Glas »

Do most places ask you to send the corked wine back? Most of my corked wines come from a retailer with a policy that anything purchased older than 10 y/o is at the customers risk, so those just go down the drain, as I knew the policy and risk when I made the purchase.
Haskell's will take back any vintage but I never buy old bottles from them as their prices are sky high. I also would not risk the 10 year policy.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#16 Post by Brian Tuite »

I've had great experiences with winemakers replacing corked/flawed bottles from just a note on CT/WB regardless of where purchased. NVW&C gave me credit for a corked 20 yr old Forman Cab that I had purchased from them! I had a bottle of Arcadian Chard which Joe felt, from my tasting note, did not live up to the experience it should have given and he offered a replacement. Bedrock, Lagier Meredith come to mind quickly as well but there are many many more.

I had one winery refuse to replace a corked bottle, that I brought back to the tasting room for inspection, since they had no record of me purchasing it from them. It was corked the day it was bottled, where I purchased it should never have been an issue. Needless to say I have not purchased another bottle of their wine since. I always mark flawed wines as such. Especially if it's a recent vintage. Wineries need the data to bring to their supplier.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#17 Post by Brian Tuite »

I've had great experiences with winemakers replacing corked/flawed bottles from just a note on CT/WB regardless of where purchased. NVW&C gave me credit for a corked 20 yr old Forman Cab that I had purchased from them! I had a bottle of Arcadian Chard which Joe felt, from my tasting note, did not live up to the experience it should have given and he offered a replacement. Bedrock, Lagier Meredith come to mind quickly as well but there are many many more.

I had one winery refuse to replace a corked bottle, that I brought back to the tasting room for inspection, since they had no record of me purchasing it from them. It was corked the day it was bottled, where I purchased it should never have been an issue. Needless to say I have not purchased another bottle of their wine since. I always mark flawed wines as such. Especially if it's a recent vintage. Wineries need the data to bring to their supplier.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#18 Post by John Glas »

I had one winery refuse to replace a corked bottle, that I brought back to the tasting room for inspection, since they had no record of me purchasing it from them. It was corked the day it was bottled, where I purchased it should never have been an issue. Needless to say I have not purchased another bottle of their wine since. I always mark flawed wines as such. Especially if it's a recent vintage. Wineries need the data to bring to their supplier.
Nor would I. An email I get but bringing it to them is bad judgement on their part.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#19 Post by Cris Whetstone »

Thanks for the perspective Michael. I have contacted wineries in the past about this issue. But I always feel hesitant because I don't want to guilt or pressure them into acting on my behalf. TCA is part of the game and in many cases things are just not replaceable anyway. If I do have a new release wine that is infected I will normally contact the winery to see if they want to do anything about it. Whether they do or not is not something I fret over.

One advantage to buying from local retailers of which I do not do enough, is that it is easy to drop back by with a corked bottle for replacement.

Of course the other issue is that I like wines to age. I would never feel comfortable seeking replacements for wines that the seller is not likely to have a replacement for without sourcing and spending retail prices to replace for something like TCA.

I do post corked notes on CT. More for informational purposes. Some people like to survey notes in order to glean numbers for such things. It can also be useful for older wines where TCA was a common problem for a certain maker or bottling in particular timeframes.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#20 Post by joejolesch »

Michael Sterling wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:51 am Every so often I see corked bottle notes on CellarTracker about Franny Beck wines. Sometimes I’m able to figure out who the note taker is based off their handle or location. Often it’s easier when it’s someone whose bought from us for a long time and I know them, personally.

I’d just like to say here, and I’m certain every winemaker participating on this site will agree, that I wish people would contact me when they open corked bottles of ours. I will replace every corked bottle, every time, no questions asked. You can email me or PM on this site or through our website and I’ll send you a free of charge replacement, shipping included. Cork taint is no fault of the buyer and my wish is that you get to experience my wine at peak performance. Thanks everyone
I check other’s notes on my wines daily on CT, easily one of my favorite CT features. Especially if there’s a bottle I’m planning to open in the near term. I actually saw the comment in reference and replied that they should reach out to you - great customer service!

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#21 Post by John Glas »


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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#22 Post by Br1an Th0rne »

John Glas wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:54 am I hate when people don't use the flaw feature on oxidized or heat damaged wines and give the wine a 60.
What difference does it make whether a random CT user scores the wine as 60 or marks the wine as flawed? As long as they enter a tasting note, I find it helpful either way.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#23 Post by JonathanG »

Prob because it draws down the overall score, and as much as folks here bemoan ratings it still influences peoples decisions to buy wines.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#24 Post by Greg N »

Cris Whetstone wrote: February 20th, 2021, 9:33 am Thanks for the perspective Michael. I have contacted wineries in the past about this issue. But I always feel hesitant because I don't want to guilt or pressure them into acting on my behalf. TCA is part of the game and in many cases things are just not replaceable anyway. If I do have a new release wine that is infected I will normally contact the winery to see if they want to do anything about it. Whether they do or not is not something I fret over.
I recently had this experience with a recent release and let the winery know. It seemed all the more important because I noticed a "corked" post from another CT user. The winery seemed pleased to be told and offered to replace it. I agree that TCA comes with the territory...
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#25 Post by Wes Barton »

John Glas wrote: February 20th, 2021, 8:03 am
IMO, there's no point in posting notes on corked bottles. They're not representative and typically, they're not anyone's fault.
Disagree.

While it is no one's fault it is important to see if there was a batch of bad wine. I would think a wine maker would like to know this to look at future wine making processes and maybe alternative closures. Plus the fault feature does not allow for a score. As I said above putting a score for a flawed wine is not something we should do.
Yep. It's part of users' documenting their wines. Other users should be able to see an anomaly for what it is - though a pattern may appear if there was an unusually bad batch of corks. As far as TNs - sometimes there's no point, sometimes you get a good idea of how good the wine should have been and have some useful things to say.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#26 Post by John Glas »

What difference does it make whether a random CT user scores the wine as 60 or marks the wine as flawed? As long as they enter a tasting note, I find it helpful either way.
If the wine is flawed you need to select the flawed feature. I would hope everyone would know this. If it is not flawed and someone wants to give it 60 I would hope they write about what they dislike about the wine.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#27 Post by John Glas »

Prob because it draws down the overall score, and as much as folks here bemoan ratings it still influences peoples decisions to buy wines.
The ignore author feature is nice. Always love someone with a 71 score while the average is 91. Usually no note included.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#28 Post by JBucholz »

John Glas wrote: February 20th, 2021, 3:10 pm
Prob because it draws down the overall score, and as much as folks here bemoan ratings it still influences peoples decisions to buy wines.
The ignore author feature is nice. Always love someone with a 71 score while the average is 91. Usually no note included.
Worse yet, giving a 91 point average wine a 71 without note, but clicking the “likes this wine” button.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#29 Post by Adam G »

I usually think of going back to where I bought the wine if there's an issue with it, not necessarily back to the winery.
WRT flawed notes on CT, I've actually had wineries get in touch with me when I've had a bad bottle. Cabot and Bedrock are two that stuck out in my head. Even on the Ravenswood library offer that Joel sold last summer I had a bottle arrive with a weird cork and emailed to ask about it. He sent me a replacement. (And in all those cases I decided to add a few bottles to offset the cost of them shipping me said replacement...seems the right thing to do.)
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#30 Post by Adam Frisch »

Michael, have you thought about using the TCA-free "sniffed" corks from Lafitte? Yeah, they're kinda pricy at almost 60cents/bottle an up, but all it takes is 1 bottle out of a 100 that you have to ship a replacement for on your dime, and you've eaten up any cost saving you might have had. For me, it was an easy decision. Now, this doesn't 100% guarantee non-corked wine, but they will replace it on their dime at full price if one is found. So far, not a single one has been found out of about 500 cases I shipped last year.
Last edited by Adam Frisch on February 20th, 2021, 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#31 Post by Alan Rath »

More importantly, why would anyone post a note on a corked bottle in CT? Unless there is some known problem, and folks are trying to document it. Reminds me of people who write bad Amazon reviews because a product arrived broken.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#32 Post by Ben M a n d l e r »

Alan Rath wrote: February 20th, 2021, 9:39 pm More importantly, why would anyone post a note on a corked bottle in CT? Unless there is some known problem, and folks are trying to document it. Reminds me of people who write bad Amazon reviews because a product arrived broken.
To keep track for my own records, for which I use CT and have done since 2008. It’s a great centralised place to keep my notes, cellar and purchasing info, very user friendly and searchable. Including corked wines is just a part of that documentation. I do this for all flawed wines: mark as flawed and use the note to describe the flaw. And the utility extends beyond my own personal documentation. If a lot of people find a wine to be corked or overly bretty or prematurely oxidized, that’s something I want to know because it will inform my buying decisions. I’ve seen an entire case of wine before where every single bottle was corked. No matter how good a winery or store’s return policy is, that’s a hassle I’d rather avoid.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#33 Post by Otto Forsberg »

Ben M a n d l e r wrote: February 20th, 2021, 10:27 pm
Alan Rath wrote: February 20th, 2021, 9:39 pm More importantly, why would anyone post a note on a corked bottle in CT? Unless there is some known problem, and folks are trying to document it. Reminds me of people who write bad Amazon reviews because a product arrived broken.
To keep track for my own records, for which I use CT and have done since 2008.
This (although 2010 for me). That way I can see which wines I've drunk and from which producer. It would be stupid not to mark the corked wines because later you couldn't check out which wines were drunk in a certain vertical if corked wines were dropped.

It might not offer any value to other users, but it most certainly is of value to me. I apologize if I have offended somebody with my notes on corked bottles in CT, but I primarily use the site for myself, not for others.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#34 Post by Julian Marshall »

Michael Sterling wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:51 am Every so often I see corked bottle notes on CellarTracker about Franny Beck wines. Sometimes I’m able to figure out who the note taker is based off their handle or location. Often it’s easier when it’s someone whose bought from us for a long time and I know them, personally.

I’d just like to say here, and I’m certain every winemaker participating on this site will agree, that I wish people would contact me when they open corked bottles of ours. I will replace every corked bottle, every time, no questions asked. You can email me or PM on this site or through our website and I’ll send you a free of charge replacement, shipping included. Cork taint is no fault of the buyer and my wish is that you get to experience my wine at peak performance. Thanks everyone
Great policy - Michael, please sell up your winery, move to France and buy a couple of Bordeaux châteaux - and if you have any spare change, something in Burgundy too!

Corked wines are thankfully rare but not as rare as French producers, especially in Bordeaux, who are willing to replace them. As for premoxed Burgundy...ho ho ho!

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#35 Post by Rob Lynch »

Michael Sterling wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:51 am Every so often I see corked bottle notes on CellarTracker about Franny Beck wines. Sometimes I’m able to figure out who the note taker is based off their handle or location. Often it’s easier when it’s someone whose bought from us for a long time and I know them, personally.

I’d just like to say here, and I’m certain every winemaker participating on this site will agree, that I wish people would contact me when they open corked bottles of ours. I will replace every corked bottle, every time, no questions asked. You can email me or PM on this site or through our website and I’ll send you a free of charge replacement, shipping included. Cork taint is no fault of the buyer and my wish is that you get to experience my wine at peak performance. Thanks everyone

Can't you contact the note writer via their profile Message Board on the "New CellarTracker"
I'm a "Classic" CellarTracker guy, but this feature could have some value.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#36 Post by Robert.A.Jr. »

I rarely ask, just accepting it as part of the cost of the hobby. Often more hassle than it is worth, but great to see a winemaker so open about it and willing to fix something that I assume was difficult for even them to control. I think the only time I recall asking for a replacement was when I bought a rather expensive and mature Italian wine from Chambers. They replaced it immediately. I made the request because like the OP they are open about their replacement policy and I have been buying lots from them for 15+ years. Oh, had another local retailer replace some Raffault when I popped 3 bottles in one night that were all corked. There I exchanged the whole case as the odds were, this lot was spoiled.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#37 Post by AndrewH »

Michael Sterling wrote: February 20th, 2021, 7:51 am Every so often I see corked bottle notes on CellarTracker about Franny Beck wines. Sometimes I’m able to figure out who the note taker is based off their handle or location. Often it’s easier when it’s someone whose bought from us for a long time and I know them, personally.

I’d just like to say here, and I’m certain every winemaker participating on this site will agree, that I wish people would contact me when they open corked bottles of ours. I will replace every corked bottle, every time, no questions asked. You can email me or PM on this site or through our website and I’ll send you a free of charge replacement, shipping included. Cork taint is no fault of the buyer and my wish is that you get to experience my wine at peak performance. Thanks everyone
Have you ever commented on the note to say "contact me"?
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#38 Post by Jim Salvito »

A few weeks ago I popped a very high-end Napa cab that was corked with TCA. I contacted the winery and since I didn't purchase directly from them, they deferred replacing it and suggested contacting the retailer. Very disappointing.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#39 Post by SJeffery »

I hope all Berserkers are aware that their local retailer they buy from should almost always be willing to credit or swap flawed bottles as long as the bottle is brought back with some level of wine left in it and the wine is indeed flawed. It puts us in an odd position when we're told "this wine I bought from you two weeks ago is flawed, but I poured it out and tossed the bottle and would have to dig in the recycle bin to find it". We deal with a good chunk of customers thinking that an old cork breaking on them is an indicator that they deserve a refund and that the wine has issues. We don't want to treat everyone as if they're misinformed, but more often than not they unfortunately are. If in doubt please call the bottle shop you purchased from sooner rather than later. We want you to be happy with your purchase, we want you to come back, and we also think you deserve your money back if there's an issue. That being said, there are some customers out there that abuse this scenario to return bottles they don't like and a line has to be drawn somewhere.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#40 Post by AndrewH »

Jim Salvito wrote: February 21st, 2021, 1:08 pm A few weeks ago I popped a very high-end Napa cab that was corked with TCA. I contacted the winery and since I didn't purchase directly from them, they deferred replacing it and suggested contacting the retailer. Very disappointing.
Ugh. You should tell the retailer that this winery wants to stick the cost of corked bottles on its retailers. If it didn't then it wouldn't reject the idea of handling it directly.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#41 Post by Michael Sterling »

AndrewH wrote: February 21st, 2021, 11:58 am
Have you ever commented on the note to say "contact me"?
I have not but that is an excellent idea! Thank you
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#42 Post by Eric LeVine »

1) It is totally fine for the consumer to add a note on CellarTracker. However, they should click the FLAWED checkbox which disables the ability to add a score.
2) If anyone sees a note on an obviously flawed bottle that DOES have a score, if logged into CellarTracker, it is two clicks for you to report it to us. (Now if the user debated about whether or not they thought it was flawed but was not totally sure and did add a score, sorry, we won't touch those).
3) Any winery with a CellarTracker account can add a comment to a tasting note asking the author to get in touch. This will notify them.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#43 Post by John Glas »

1) It is totally fine for the consumer to add a note on CellarTracker. However, they should click the FLAWED checkbox which disables the ability to add a score.
2) If anyone sees a note on an obviously flawed bottle that DOES have a score, if logged into CellarTracker, it is two clicks for you to report it to us. (Now if the user debated about whether or not they thought it was flawed but was not totally sure and did add a score, sorry, we won't touch those).
3) Any winery with a CellarTracker account can add a comment to a tasting note asking the author to get in touch. This will notify them.
Thanks for the reminder on option 2

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#44 Post by Markus S »

Adam Frisch wrote: February 20th, 2021, 8:51 pm Michael, have you thought about using the TCA-free "sniffed" corks from Lafitte?
Who does the sniffing: truffle pigs?
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#45 Post by Rodrigo B »

Markus S wrote: February 22nd, 2021, 8:45 am
Adam Frisch wrote: February 20th, 2021, 8:51 pm Michael, have you thought about using the TCA-free "sniffed" corks from Lafitte?
Who does the sniffing: truffle pigs?
There are a few cork manufacturers that guarantee TCA-free natural corks. They essentially soak the corks in an alcohol solution and then several trained testers sniff the samples to check if any cork has imbued TCA odors into the liquid. There's also some automated technologies that check for TCA in natural corks, like the ones Amorim uses
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#46 Post by Marshall Manning »

SJeffery wrote: February 21st, 2021, 2:16 pm I hope all Berserkers are aware that their local retailer they buy from should almost always be willing to credit or swap flawed bottles as long as the bottle is brought back with some level of wine left in it and the wine is indeed flawed. It puts us in an odd position when we're told "this wine I bought from you two weeks ago is flawed, but I poured it out and tossed the bottle and would have to dig in the recycle bin to find it". We deal with a good chunk of customers thinking that an old cork breaking on them is an indicator that they deserve a refund and that the wine has issues. We don't want to treat everyone as if they're misinformed, but more often than not they unfortunately are. If in doubt please call the bottle shop you purchased from sooner rather than later. We want you to be happy with your purchase, we want you to come back, and we also think you deserve your money back if there's an issue. That being said, there are some customers out there that abuse this scenario to return bottles they don't like and a line has to be drawn somewhere.
That's very good customer service! I used to be ITB on the distribution side, and I know that individual distributors have different policies/tolerances for returns from retailers, so I only return corked bottles to the retailer if I know they can get their money back. I don't want the retailer to have to eat the cost, although I know that many distributors end up eating the cost, too, but not always. There are a lot of wineries and importers that just won't give credit back to the distributor for defective bottles and just don't want to be bothered with it.
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#47 Post by Michael Martin »

I have never had an issue getting credit or replacement for a corked wine. I will mark said wine as flawed on CT. It helps me track bottlings over time. One producer, who replaced every corked bottle, had an in ordinate number of 2012 vintage wines as corked.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#48 Post by P@u1_M3nk3s »

This inspired me to look at 11 years of notes to see what I found flawed. Kind of interesting to check back. PS: Rhys and Stony Hill contacted me immediately to replace. flirtysmile
  • 2004 Domaine Huber-Verdereau Volnay Les Robardelles - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Volnay (4/29/2020)
    Ladybugs. Pyrazines. Green meanies. NR (flawed)
  • 2005 Domaine Pierre Guillemot Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Narbantons - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru (2/15/2020)
    corked. NR (flawed)
  • 2011 Stony Hill Chardonnay - USA, California, Napa Valley (12/29/2019)
    Oxidised. Color was visibly off before opening and the wine was lifeless except for the butter/sherry note. Very disappointing as I've had it 2x at the winery with typical Stony Hill notes.
    EDIT: Winery is replacing bottle. NR (flawed)
  • 2007 Domaine La Millière Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Unique Vieilles Vignes - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/15/2019)
    Corked. NR (flawed)
  • 2006 Château d'Epiré Savennières Cuvée Spéciale - France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Savennières (9/18/2019)
    Hmm, found a bottle in the cellar from a vintage I thought I'd drank up. Hooray! Bottle was oxidised. Boo! Hiss! NR (flawed)
  • 2007 Domaine Francois et Antoine Jobard Meursault En La Barre - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault (6/5/2019)
    Premoxed. NR (flawed)
  • 2010 Kirkland Signature Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée de Nalys - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (4/5/2018)
    Boring bretty stuff. Let's just call it flawed. NR (flawed)
  • 2004 Verget Meursault Lieu Interdit - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault (12/23/2017)
    Corked. NR (flawed)
  • 2014 Domaine Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre - France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre (7/4/2017)
    The flaw was I thought I bought a white 3 months ago but when I opened it I found it was rouge! Instead of deleting this and creating a new entry figured I'd leave a PSA to those not familiar with Sancerre rouge: Pinot Noir from here can be earthy, tasty stuff. Try it. NR (flawed)
  • 2007 Domaine Monier Perréol St. Joseph Blanc - France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, St. Joseph (3/19/2017)
    Oxidised,. Otherwise some bitterness and oversweet apricot coming through. I suspect this would probably be rated below average if it was not flawed. NR (flawed)
  • 2005 Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc - USA, California, Central Coast, Paso Robles (4/22/2016)
    Oxidised. Came back to it 45 minutes later and confirmed. NR (flawed)
  • 2003 François Raveneau Chablis Grand Cru Les Clos - France, Burgundy, Chablis, Chablis Grand Cru (4/13/2016)
    Even with slight cork taint this showed that it's normally a great wine. My only bottle and I think it's better than what the vintage would suggest. NR (flawed)
  • 2002 Domaine Francois et Antoine Jobard Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru (6/27/2015)
    2nd of 2 Poruzots premoxed. 0 for 2 on 2002 Poruzots with no bottles left. NR (flawed)
  • 2001 Edmunds St. John Syrah Wylie-Fenaughty - USA, California, Sierra Foothills, El Dorado County (2/21/2015)
    Corked - arrgh. Became more apparent with time. NR (flawed)
  • 2002 Michel Colin-Deléger et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru En Remilly - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (10/25/2014)
    Corked. At least it wasn't premoxed! NR (flawed)
  • 2005 Didier Dagueneau Pouilly-Fumé Pur Sang - France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Pouilly-Fumé (9/26/2014)
    Oxidised. Had the brilliant acidity and none of the tropical fruits. A shame. NR (flawed)
  • 2001 Michel Colin-Deléger et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (3/8/2014)
    6th of 6 bottles. All oxidised. NR (flawed)
  • 2002 Domaine Francois et Antoine Jobard Meursault 1er Cru Les Poruzots - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault 1er Cru (12/26/2013)
    First premoxed Jobard. Definitely premature as they have a reputation for a long, long life. NR (flawed)
  • 2006 A. et P. de Villaine Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise Les Clous - France, Burgundy, Côte Chalonnaise, Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise (1/22/2012)
    Premoxed. Arrgh. NR (flawed)
  • 2001 Michel Colin-Deléger et Fils Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Chaumées - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru (11/1/2011)
    The 5th of 6 bottles. All oxidized. Arrgh. Luckily of all the different bottlings I have of Colin-Deleger only this one has been premoxed. I stopped buying it soon after this vintage. NR (flawed)
  • 2004 Rhys Alesia Syrah Chileno Valley - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (12/31/2009)
    This wine was a bretty poopy mess. Too bad because it seems like there is something interesting beneath the fecal stew. Hope my other two bottles fare better! NR (flawed)
  • 2004 Villa Carafa Aglianico - Italy, Campania, Sannio (12/31/2009)
    Plastic cork and still corked! NR (flawed)
  • 2002 Rapet Père et Fils Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru Sous Frétille - France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru (11/7/2009)
    Premoxed. Feh! NR (flawed)
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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#49 Post by John Glas »

I have never had an issue getting credit or replacement for a corked wine. I will mark said wine as flawed on CT. It helps me track bottlings over time. One producer, who replaced every corked bottle, had an in ordinate number of 2012 vintage wines as corked.
That was good service on their part. We get corked bottles happen and I doubt anyone would not want a replacement even if it is different vintage.

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Re: Corked Bottles on CellarTracker: A winemaker’s perspective

#50 Post by John Glas »

That's very good customer service! I used to be ITB on the distribution side, and I know that individual distributors have different policies/tolerances for returns from retailers, so I only return corked bottles to the retailer if I know they can get their money back.
I would hope the distributor would take it back. They are buying it for the lowest cost. I certainly will not eat the cost of a $50 bottle.

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