Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Customer Disservice.

Yesterday was International Albariño Day.  Yay!
A few months ago I began my search for an Albariño that I might not have tried before. Then, just recently, in the Napa Register, I read of a new wine label, Eighty Four.  Eighty Four is a new project by Elias Fernandez and Doug Shafer (of Shafer Vineyards).  It just so happens that they produce an Albariño, so I thought it would be a good candidate with which to laud the upcoming festivity.
I called Shafer to find out if the Albariño was available for sale to the general public (sometimes these faddy wines aren't).  I was helped (and I say helped in the loosest possible sense of the word) by a woman who answered my questions with one syllable words only. Okey-dokey. I supposed she was just having a bad day.
I had a similar experience when I drove up to Shafer on my day off.  I wasn't greeted upon entering the winery although there was a person in the reception area.  The gentleman, at a desk staring into his computer screen, only acknowledged me when I ventured, "Hello" in my cheeriest voice.  I told him what I wanted, handed him my business card, I made some idle chit-chat and then paid for the wine (no inter-winery discount at Shafer, by the way).  Our entire interaction was conducted with having barely any eye contact at all.  He was that disinterested, very bizarre.  I suppose all Shafer employees continually have bad days.
The wine itself went something like this; the wine was very yellow in the glass; strong lemon and candy floss (cotton candy) on the nose; first sip was a little briny; the taste was of pineapple chunks and apple tarts (two sweets, candy, from my childhood).  And the wine was very tart, like it had been acidulated with citric acid.  Now, I consider myself the 'Queen of Tart' as I generally like an elevated acidity in my wine, but this was a little over the top.  Overall the wine, whilst not unpleasant, seemed a little tired. It wasn't oxidised, but all that candied stuff going on just made the wine seem a little over-worked.
An average wine, served with bad customer service, sigh.  I can't get my $28.00 back, but I can make sure that I never spend another penny of my hard earned wages at Shafer.  If one feels inclined to waste some time, one can read the Register article here.  Enjoy.  Or not.

6 comments:

Thomas said...

When will they ever learn?

$28! I won't say the obvious, but here are some comparisons: http://www.winemag.com/varietals/albarino/

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Thomas: I can understand the $28 though there are plenty of others for $10, but why this happened I can't. Sometimes I see this behavior as a process of dehumanization, and something that happens all the time; I try at all times to see clerks or whoever as a REAL persons. I did a post about this very kind of thing last weekend.
I'm going to send this post and my disappointment with Shafer Vineyards to Doug Shafer.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: That is a great list of Albariños - I see the Eighty Four is one of the most expensive!!! I wanted to do a post about a domestic Albariño; the Artesa was sold out and I'd had the Hill Family (which was delicious) last January. The Shafer wasn't horrible, it just wasn't great (after all of the hype).

NHW: So chivalrous :) But, seriously, why bother? Shafer have firmly placed themselves in the 'our poop doesn't stink' category of Napa Valley wineries. To coin an American phrase, I will just "vote with my pocketbook"...it is obvious that they want my money, but not my goodwill.

Thomas said...

Money replaces good will...reminds me of a presidential candidate.

Alana Barton said...

I like the Hess Albarino. Great blog.

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Tut, don't speak of America's first female president that way.

AB: Welcome to Vinsanity.

I will take your suggestion and purchase a bottle of The Hess Collection's Albariño, tout de suite. After all, I need something to wash away the sour taste that Shafer has left on my palate.