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With all the negative posts on here about retailers, I thought it would be nice to highlight one that has provided me with outstanding customer service.

In the fall I purchased 3 bottles of 1997 Valdicava Madonna del Piano Riserva from The Spirit Shop in South Egremont, Massachusetts ( Their price was great ($125 /per) so I bought three and was looking forward to opening one this year, and the following two in every 2 years from now on forward.

Last week at an offline with differentdave, jace, and a few others, I anxiously popped the cork on the first bottle. Immediately something was off. The fruits were stewed and stinky- the bottle had been a victim of excessive heat (bottles were stored in my plug-in unit at 55 degrees since they arrived). Saddened but not discouraged, I chalked it up to the "oh well bad luck" category and moved on to a second bottle.

The second bottle, again, was rather off. The fruits seemed very "stewy" and overall the wine was flat. I had this wine last year and it was outstanding- so I knew something was wrong at this point.

I didn't open a third bottle.

Saturday I e-mailed the Spirit Shoppe to ask if I could return my third bottle, suspecting it would be the same. I did not suggest any other action as I figured 'buyer beware' and didn't hold this against them.

Today I received an e-mail from Devin Vollmer (owner) offering full credit for ALL THREE bottles. Further, they informed me to keep the third bottle to see if it's any good.

Now that's pretty damn cool of Devin. I had already planned on working with them again since their prices are always great and there are always a lot of sales going on. Now with this great level of service, I am very glad to give them more business and recommend them to you all!

Oh, and Italian Oenophiles: They have a great mailing list that goes out weekly or so with a lot of good prices on Barolo/Barb/Brunello/Super Tuscans! Highly recommended to sign up!
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Good posting, sarbuze.

I'm happy to second your take on Devin and glad you too had a good experience with him.
About a year ago, he ran some good pricing on a selection of Italian BdM & Barolo, as well as several excellent CdP's.

I ended up picking up 2 or 3 cases from him. Getting near delivery time, he emails to mention he's 'missing' the 2000 Domenico Clerico Percristina (I'd picked up his last 2 bottles). "No problem", he says. "I'll replace these bottles from my personal holdings and ship them to you".

Did he have to do that? As we've seen on several occasions with other retailers, certainly not. The usual 'credits' and blah blah could have followed.

Straight up guy and an absolute pleasure to deal with. Good website and easy to transact on.
Only issue I had at the time, was that Devin doesn't deliver to Michigan. So I had to have these cases sent to Grossie in Chicago, which made him real happy. Razz Big Grin

Thanks again, grossie. You're a gentleman and a scholar. Wink

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