Wine-Napped! The Case of the 13 Bottle Case

the man amidst the problem

the man amidst the problem

“The system won’t let us do that sir” said the creamy voice on the phone. “We can ship your one remaining bottle for $10.” Wine crime is a real world phenomenon what with the fraudulent labeling scandal and auction house travesties. Unfortunately we are compelled to report a lesser but no less aggravating kind of wine crime. In fact, it really isn’t a crime as much as it is a matter of cheap software meets a scrambling warehouse crew. It is, nevertheless, a deal breaker. We are taking about a case of winenapping. Bottles already paid for that held hostage in a Pacific Northwest warehouse until a ransom can be paid for their release!

We LOVE the beguiling bombastic Jon Rimmerman and his Garagiste we-try-so-hard operation. There is no greater, hilarious or more inspiring wine writer/sales jockey around. He is peerless. And very successful. We believe he believes in customer service. So buy a slick inventory system Jon! We recognize the costs are substantial to stay on the road year round in Serbia and the Galapagos Islands in order to search out the greatest wine deals our money can buy. We recognize you must make adjustments at both ends. We benefit twice from his travels. He obviously writes sometimes while at the end of some 36 hour hunt. Or better yet at the end of a long day tasting and spitting. We understand and accept that his warehouse in Seattle limits shipments twice a year when temps are just right. This is a matter of wine preservation AND keeping costs low. Rimmerman’s prices are very good; usually the lowest among peers. You CAN find some of his wines elsewhere and sometimes for the same price or less. As mon patate divan Dotoré says “why should I buy it from “G” when I can ride over to Paul Smith’s and pick it up for the same price including “G’s” shipping?”

I’ll tell you why. Because Rimmerman needs our customer loyalty. The man is out there with worn soles on his feet hiking up stony paths in the Savoie digging out deals on acidic bright white wines that we will sip all summer. And there is the rub. We can only drink that acidic Corsican white wine IF and WHEN we get it. And we can only get it if it arrives at the Seattle warehouse before the summer temps start hiking up faster than Hanna Horvath’s dresses [ed. did you read Kareem’s Girls black dildo critique on HuffPo? Kareem? Coolio!].

One more paragraph so I can get this off my chest [ed. faster than Coco’s teeny dance tunic?]. The apparent DISCONNECTion between arrival and shipping schedules has been tolerable as it must be for many. However, there is one more problem forecast above. If you have less than a case the warehouse will not ship your wine! Hey. Dotoré has 11 bottles and I have 13 bottles. How about you put my extra in his short case and ship both cases out? Return to top. DEAL BREAKER. I will not pay $10 to ship one bottle even if I did pay $47 for a well priced 2010 Rhone that Jon dug out of an unheralded cellar in the Rhone. And I will not buy 11 more bottles from “G” to fill the case.

In the meantime, we have at least two “G” picks along with two wines you will never see on Garagiste, to report on.

etfilleNichols07WEB2007 et Fille Nichols Pinot Noir $50: This extra fine wine from Oregon has come around nicely. Loads of toffee flavors, roasted coffee nose. All the alcohol on the nose has settled down. A lovely Willamette Pinot Noir that balances the New World flavors with Old World grace. 13%

cienypico08WEB2008 Cien y Pico Doble Pasta Tintoretta Garnacha $20: Screw top Rimmerman pick from Spain. Has all the earmarks of a “G” pick. Label designed by NASCAR? So easy to drink/quaff. To quote Dotore “if were there this is what we would be drinking…happily.” Core fruit is dark. Weight and sinewy. Aerate does not help this wine. Prefer it right out of the bottle As it is meant to be consumed. Old World Grenache from Spain in a New World style. Label says “ancient plantings in limestone soil.” No wonder Rimmerman fell for this. So do we. 13.%

coston10WEB2010 Domaine Coston Terasses du Larzac $11: One of the regions “G” keeps going back to is Languedoc which must be the “low hanging fruit” of bottled wine for him. The region has always been awash in juice and now there is an established committment to upgraded product.This wine shows dark coca on teh nose. Dusty in the mouth. Not a “fon-cee” wine. Put together nicely and quite nice. Simple. Straighforward flavors. Is it Mourverdre with Carignane? If we were in Languedoc this is what we would be drinking. U20 and available!! 14%

McK_Malbec03WEB2003 McKenzie-Mueller Malbec N/A: The Young ‘Uns called for wine so I sent them to the cellar where they located this bottle. The only request I made was the three must make some notes. On the nose: Blackberry and currants. Blackberry jam. Orgies and bare feet. Upon tasting: strawberries. Velvet veggie, fruit muted. Astringent. Bu the time I arrived the fruit was emerging and we had a bowl of blackberries with a veggie backbone that went well with the meal they had prepared together. $14%

Sadly, we are finished with Garagiste until we next travel to Seattle and pick up our bottle at the warehouse. It’s a 2010 Rhone. It will age just fine. That is…unless Jon springs for a better database that permits the kind of box sharing solution we proposed. We wish him well. Truly.

The day you read about Rimmerman offering et Fille or McKenzie-Mueller contact me immediately. Of course, we hope we hear from the producers first! Au revoir et bon voyage mon amis!


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    Chris-B says:

    The funny thing is that before Garagiste upgraded their inventory system, they would let me combine shipments with other people all the time. Sometimes they still let me. They also will ship me 11 bottles of wine occasionally. The key is to email someone at a low enough level that they don’t know any better. I suggest trying Lwam ( and seeing if he will accommodate your requests.

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    Adri says:

    Great editorial! Although I have not dealt with this purveyor, I have encountered similar situations with others vis a vis shipping costs. With me the product is olive oil, but as far as the overall situation is concerned it, well, la meme chose. While I strive to be loyal to the fine purveyors and producers I know, coming up against things like this is really darn aggravating. I have often found myself cancelling the order and driving out to a southland retailer instead.Thanks for addrsesing this . I’d say this post presents a cautionary tale for all online vendors.

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    tootsie says:

    OMG who cares about shipping when you can sail with Bobby Darin. White men do have soul – check out those moves. As smooth as a well aged bottle of Latour.

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    Samantha says:

    Woooooh Mckenzie-Mueller! Dang, I haven’t even had a 2003 Malbec and I’m a Mueller!

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