Another crappy retailer experience

I was at an Oregon Pinot tasting and discovered Zena Crown Slope. I decided to seek some out.

After visiting and weeding out all of the places that won’t ship to Ohio, I found Solano. They took my order, but then quickly wrote back and said they
didn’t have the wine. So I moved on. Then I found Mr. D. They took my money and marked my order and marked it “conformed.” Then nothing for more than
2 weeks. I reched out to them and they said “pandemic” blah, blah. Then they said they expected to have the wine by a certain date. That
day came and went without a word. After a month, no wine, but they have yet to admit that they don’t actually have it. I don’t think the pandemic is a valid excuse for poor inventory management and poor communication.

If you’re looking for a specific wine, you almost have to buy it at towo or three places to have a chance of actually getting it.

Mr. D is a clearing operation; almost no real inventory. Once they get an order, then they call the distributor.
Sometimes it works; often it doesn’t.

Horror stories like OP’s make me glad that my sister lives near K&L, plus that my SiL’s hairdresser is also there (so I can impose on them for contactless / mouseclick pickups).

(Of course, they don’t fully appreciate the glory of this, instead complaining about the unpleasantness of SF’s streets and constant urban chaos)

I tried to look up here Mr D as a retailer before ordering a couple of Cornas cuvées, but their name is very difficult (impossible?) to search on the forum. Ordered a week ago, have sent them a couple of follow up emails to see when they’re shipping, no response, etc. I’m not massively worried yet - Luckily I can get a refund from Amex if it turns out badly - but I’m dubious about them.

Even if I trusted them to eventually get the wine, I’m not sure I trust someone like this to properly handle the wine. Hard pass.

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Sounds like the model of a certain famous retailer that went belly up. There were only 500 cases of my desried wine made so they aren’t going to be able to get it.

There seem to be a growing number of these type of on-line operations.
‘Makes me happy to have a good relationship with several local retailers.
Best, Jim

Even with B&M sellers it can be hit-or-miss, I had two recent bad experiences: one with incorrect inventory (even after talking to the store) and an unauthorized vintage substitution

People can also lob in complaints to Wine-Searcher, which IIRC, dropped Premier Cru from their search results (eventually).

Andrew Turner of Valley Wine Merchants in Newberg, OR runs an excellent Oregon-centric wine shop. He’s established in the Willamette valley, well-known and trusted by the winemaking community there. If anyone can get the best, straight-from-the-dirt, most eclectic or sought-after wines of Oregon, he can. I’ve been buying from him for years and his mixed cases of “what’s new and good” in Oregon continue to impress.

I went over to the Burgundy side years ago, but I still buy from Valley Wine.
Worth a look.


I think these guys have the most extensive inventory of OR wines with a nice “Build a Case” feature that you can fill for up to a year. They carry Zena Crown Slope, but it looks like they are sold out of the 2018s (They have very good online inventory management). I’d give them a call and ask when they’ll have the 2019s in.

I found some 18 Slope at Empire State of Wine. They have been hit or miss, but sometimes they come through for me. If they don’t, I’ll look for the 19 at the Oregon retailers mentioned here. Thanks for the referrals.

Mr D said they would cancel my order if I wanted, but assured me they would have the wine in a couple of days. I should not have waited. Now they have gone silent. I may have to initiate a dispute with MasterCard.


Both Avalon and Vinopolis are great.

Vinopolis carries about the largest actual in store inventory of WV wines you will find, but both places have close connections to many producers and both communicate well.

The internet model of skimming all available items from a state’s price posting roll and posting them on a website is crappy for sure but definitely not comparable to a convicted pyramid scheme scammer. Due some due diligence first and don’t waste your time with those kind of retailers. Also picking up the phone really can help if you’re determined to find a certain wine.