Shipping Now??

So I purchased nine bottles about a month ago and with the three bottles they were holding from the wine club had a case pending delivery. Before the heat wave here in the SE began there was a weather window of cooler weather and they gave me the option to upgrade to three day and promised it would go out on the following Monday. I got no tracking info so I called and they said it did not go out. Apology given. And a new promise to go out the next Monday. By then the heat was on so we spoke by phone and decided it was too risky and maybe shoud wait, possibly until fall. So today the wine shows up, delivered by UPS Ground. Shipped from Walla Walla on 6/15. No tracking was sent to me and no discussion about shipping. We have broken heat records here for the past two weeks. The wine looks OK. A couple of bottles maybe have very slightly elevated corks. I am really pissed about this. I cannot believe the wine is not heat damaged in some form. 9 bottles of Sauvignon Blanc and 3 Bordeaux Blends. Direct from winery which I will not name. Opinions??

Request for a return label and ship it back.

did they not offer a UPS/FedEx “cold shipping” option?

No. They did not.

How does this work? Suppose you are last on the driver’s route and the wine spends 10-12 hours on the local delivery truck?

ooof. bummer.

i’d call the Club or Allocation Mgr. and explain the situation and your frustration. hopefully they can do right by you.

well, we do explain that the package will travel from A to B (i.e. local hub) on a temp controlled vehicle, and then go out for delivery the next day on the standard conveyance. as always, it’s up to the customer to choose this option with the implied (and disclosed) dice roll. it’s not mandatory that anyone receive wine during summer months, just an “option” for those who decide to exercise it.

to date, we’ve had pretty good luck with it. #knockswood

Same thing has happened to me twice in the last two months.

Really bizarre.

Both cases they were supposed to hold til September. It’s even still in their systems saying that…but the FedEx mobile ovens are roaming around as we speak, cooking my swill.

Separate vendors as well.

One of them I’ve been doing biz for a long time, the other is new to me, but has been around also for a while.

Even called up ahead of time to reconfirm all their summer procedures, so that I understood what I was getting into. And both retailers web sites prominently exalt their storage and hold prowess!

My takeaway: very few places can truly do pick & pull then hold to ship properly and consistently. So if something is not a rarity, just wait til the fall to purchase it.

For the second shipment, I’m supposed to take pictures of what arrives. Unless there is massive signs of seepage or bulging corks, its not obvious how one would resolve this. I have jpeged the delivery path, along with historical hi/low temps during the journey, to send as support later if needed. I’d like to keep doing biz with these places, as I believe what happened are honest flukes, and not a systematic problems, so I’m not really fussed about quaffers getting hot. But there were some stuff for aging that I’m bummed about…

Definitely return. It was beastly here the last few days (nice but hot today)

Unfortunate choice of shipping, for sure. But: if the fills are relatively high and the bottles show no signs of seepage, I’d just keep them and stop worrying. Particularly the SB, which I assume you’re going to drink pretty soon. Wine is a lot more sturdy than conventional wisdom suggests. A few hours per day of warm-ish temp is not going to hurt the wine, IMO. Was the packaging styro? That would moderate the peak temps quite a bit, particularly if it cools off considerably at night.

I don’t know where Leonard’s SE is, but here in DC it was ~100 yesterday, and in the mid-to-high 90s the last few. No way I’d keep them.

It has been 100 here in Charlotte for the past few days & high 90’s. It was not in styrofoam. It took 8 days to get here.

Back-No excuse!

Update: The winery admitted making a mistake on shipping the wine. Offered to ship me the same wine again in October and asked me to open the bottles I got to see if any were drinkable. I’m satisfied.

Very fine customer service. I’ll be interested in hearing how the wines perform. Drinking in the near term, I am guessing not too badly. That doesn’t change the fact that they had to be exchanged.

Agreed. I too am assuming that stuff for consumption now is not as impacted…but the cellar worthy stuff just got 20 years of unhelpful maturing…

OP didn’t want to state name of winery but with this good of a customer service, they should actually be named. Sounds like they did a great job of rectifying the problem. Mistakes will always be made but it is how they handle them that is the issue.

Pepper Bridge. Kudos.

I recently enjoyed a bottle that probably experienced some heat during its travels. The UPS logs were dizzying. When opened, the cork had a fine line from one end to the other, but no signs of seepage. Man, was that wine lovely. I marked it for what it was, and think the extra months it aged while traveling actually improved its near-term consumption.

I would not ship anything anywhere right now, though. DC is hot, Boston is hot, SC is blistering. And I certainly would not accept a shipment for long-term cellaring.

I have trouble taking my dog out in Uptown with this heat let alone accepting wine, no way that’s not damaged!