Premier Cru Master Complaint Thread (MERGED)

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Kent Fisher
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#4751 Post by Kent Fisher » January 11th, 2016, 12:26 pm

David Glasser wrote:I am not a lawyer, and lack even a fraction of the knowledge that many here have, but I will offer this summary for those who attempt relief via their credit card company and run into a 60- or 120-day time limit between the time the charges were processed and the time the complaint was filed. Most card issuers should have exceptions for purchases with unspecified delivery dates and for bankruptcies.

A little Googling revealed the MasterCard policy manual here:
http://www.mastercard.com/us/merchant/p ... Manual.pdf
The relevant section is 3.26, on Goods or Services Not Provided. It begins on page 3-133, about halfway through the document. The policy may differ for other card issuers.

All those who bought futures with a credit card should take a screen shot of PC's term page, where they say that pre-arrivals, especially Bordeaux, can take over 2 years to deliver. It is a statement of the merchant's own policy and it is clear that the delivery window is open-ended with no promised delivery time frame. That might help the credit card companies understand the nature of the business and convince them you are not making this up. Here's a link to the PC Pre-Arrival Terms:
https://www.premiercru.net/premier/comp ... 78DCBC8EA7

You should also have a copy of the bankruptcy filing, linked here:


Armed with the above, you should have a strong argument for a refund from the credit card company even if your charge was over 120 days old.

My vote for one of the top 10 posts in this thread. Thank you for your efforts.

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Bruce Leiser_owitz
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#4752 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » January 11th, 2016, 12:33 pm

ybarselah wrote:not to put too fine a point on it, this isn't theoretical. what lyle, martin, and many others are describing is real and on display in this very thread within the first 15 pages. and, perhaps more important from a board culture standpoint, that militant anti-ITB attitude was perpetrated by board regulars.
It's also worth mentioning that at least some ITB folks declined to post in this thread (or elsewhere) on this topic out of concern for getting sued for defamation, etc. Basically, it was all downside and no upside for posting about Premier Cru in a thread like this one.

To be very direct, it's not as if it was a mystery what people ITB thought about PC and its business model. All you had to do was ask people you knew--retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, etc.--what they thought. If you were having a private one-on-one conversation, most people ITB were more than willing to tell you what they thought (although many would ask you not to repeat it or attribute it to them).

Bruce
"Bruce you are correct."--Andrew Kaufman, 3/24/13.

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#4753 Post by ybarselah » January 11th, 2016, 12:44 pm

the front page of PC's website has been saved 106 times on the wayback machine between April 2006 (!!) and today.

and if anyone needs the archived version of the pre-arrival page, it's here:

http://web.archive.org/web/201601112042 ... 78DCBC8EA7

in case the site goes down at some point.
Last edited by ybarselah on January 11th, 2016, 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#4754 Post by Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ » January 11th, 2016, 12:47 pm

Bruce Leiser_owitz wrote:
ybarselah wrote:not to put too fine a point on it, this isn't theoretical. what lyle, martin, and many others are describing is real and on display in this very thread within the first 15 pages. and, perhaps more important from a board culture standpoint, that militant anti-ITB attitude was perpetrated by board regulars.
It's also worth mentioning that at least some ITB folks declined to post in this thread (or elsewhere) on this topic out of concern for getting sued for defamation, etc. Basically, it was all downside and no upside for posting about Premier Cru in a thread like this one.

To be very direct, it's not as if it was a mystery what people ITB thought about PC and its business model. All you had to do was ask people you knew--retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, etc.--what they thought. If you were having a private one-on-one conversation, most people ITB were more than willing to tell you what they thought (although many would ask you not to repeat it or attribute it to them).

Bruce
Absolutely. To blame someone for not speaking publicly with circumstantial evidence - at the risk of a protracted defamation suit - is ridiculous.

Bill Klapp's aspersions towards Don Cornwell are appalling as are most of his dry and ascerbic posts. A master troll.

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#4755 Post by Randy Siverson » January 11th, 2016, 12:54 pm

I am new to this site so I really do not know how to post, but.... I just had an "amusing" talk with a BK attorney, who opined that to settle the liabilities there would probably be an auction of the wine in the inventory. For those, like me, with wine in stock that was not shipped when the curtain went down that we would have the chance to buy the wine again! Wow, what a dea.

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#4756 Post by ybarselah » January 11th, 2016, 12:56 pm

Randy Siverson wrote:I am new to this site so I really do not know how to post, but.... I just had an "amusing" talk with a BK attorney, who opined that to settle the liabilities there would probably be an auction of the wine in the inventory. For those, like me, with wine in stock that was not shipped when the curtain went down that we would have the chance to buy the wine again! Wow, what a dea.
welcome.

to take this to its amazingly logical and ironic conclusion: we now know that PC was already selling the same bottle multiple times. So the only difference in your scenario is that, in bankruptcy, the buyer would actually get the wine they paid for....
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#4757 Post by Randy Siverson » January 11th, 2016, 1:17 pm

There is possibly another odd twist to this: how was the value of the inventory set? If it was at the PC listed retail prices, then the actual value at auction could be greater than what is listed.

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#4758 Post by Dale Williams » January 11th, 2016, 1:34 pm

Randy Siverson wrote:There is possibly another odd twist to this: how was the value of the inventory set? If it was at the PC listed retail prices, then the actual value at auction could be greater than what is listed.
Well, some/most of it probably is (sadly) customers wine that hadn't shipped, and that could be valued at sale price, and could actually be worth more. But a hunk of it also is the remaining instock (Kung Fu girl Riesling, Joel Gott, odd CdR producers etc) and if that is listed as PC retail prices, will hammer for considerably less at auction. By the time you factor in fees and costs, I'd bet the total realized for the auction will be less than stated inventory value.

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#4759 Post by amjohnstone » January 11th, 2016, 1:40 pm

I'm someone who has (had?) long-pending orders for pre-arrival wines that won't be filled. My exposure isn't huge, but I have skin in the game. I just re-read the entire thread (slow work day here), and here are some rambling thoughts.

I do wish I'd paid more attention to this thread at the time. I might have acted sooner. Honestly, I thought it was the same old debate over PC's business model, and I tuned it out. Damn you, thread drift. ;)

Of course, the thread did drift, starting in March 2015 and accelerating in September 2015. But I missed all of that. And I didn't act until I finally read the WS stories. By then, it was too late.

Starting in mid-December, I placed numerous calls to PC, sent many emails, and last week, I finally received a response from PC. They offered me a refund minus a 15% restocking fee. Thursday evening, I was told my refund had been "submitted" -- whatever that means -- but that PC couldn't say when it would issue. Maybe my refund check is pre-arrival?

Re-reading the thread, I agree that there was significant pushback whenever someone ITB raised questions about PC. And seeing that, I can understand why those ITB would have been reluctant to offer their thoughts. Which, with the benefit of hindsight, is a shame. I think more information would have been beneficial, even if it was anecdotal and not backed by hard evidence.

Again, with the benefit of hindsight, it seems clear that emotions on both sides clouded the issues, which is also a shame. Maybe PC critics like Paul Battaglia had no evidence to support their claims, but circumstances haven't proved him wrong.

(Personally, I like Paul, and in my offline dealings have found him to be kind and generous. Others disagree based on his posts on the board, and I won't begin to try to allocate fault for that. I will say that I personally try -- but not always succeed -- to avoid reading the worst into what anyone posts online. I struggle enough to accurately convey my own thoughts, let alone understand perfectly what others intend and mean. But I digress...)

Altogether, I'm out three cases of wine worth about $2K. I would be interested to learn more about the breakdown of the pre-arrival wines. Re-reading the thread, it does seem like champagne was something that was frequently offered at fire-sale prices towards the end and was something that was rarely filled towards the end. And in December, when I was checking PC site, there was ZERO champagne in stock. But I mostly buy champagne, and this could be my bias creeping in.

My anecdotal experience is that pre-arrival times for champagnes definitely increased over time. Whereas at first, my pre-arrival wines took maybe a year at the outside to arrive, the length of time that I waited for them increased.

At the end, I had three cases of champagne, all of which had been pending for two plus years. None of these were rare, terribly hard to find wines. Other than six bottles of 2005 Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, none of these wines were steeply discounted. Those "facts" alone, had I paid attention to them, should have served as a warning sign to me. But like others, I reassured myself that PC had always come through for me in the past. (Again, this is personal and anecdotal and with the benefit of hindsight. So discount as you see fit.)

I'm not thrilled to lose the wines or the money, but I'm not hurting. Hopefully, others are ok too.

Apologies for the long, rambling post.
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#4760 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 2:00 pm

I know I know. Most of the wines were French as far as I can tell.

Why didn't some producers or négociants ever post stating that wine was being sold below wholesale- négociant pricing?

Just a thought.

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#4761 Post by ybarselah » January 11th, 2016, 2:03 pm

Andrew Kaufman wrote:I know I know. Most of the wines were French as far as I can tell.

Why didn't some producers or négociants ever post stating that wine was being sold below wholesale- négociant pricing?

Just a thought.
you mean post on this board?

wow! yeah, that makes sense not at all.
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#4762 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 2:17 pm

ybarselah wrote:
Andrew Kaufman wrote:I know I know. Most of the wines were French as far as I can tell.

Why didn't some producers or négociants ever post stating that wine was being sold below wholesale- négociant pricing?

Just a thought.
you mean post on this board?

wow! yeah, that makes sense not at all.
Why not? What secondary gain would they have? Particularly if they were one of "the big boys or girls".

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#4763 Post by jcoley3 » January 11th, 2016, 2:24 pm

Andrew Kaufman wrote:
ybarselah wrote:
Andrew Kaufman wrote:I know I know. Most of the wines were French as far as I can tell.

Why didn't some producers or négociants ever post stating that wine was being sold below wholesale- négociant pricing?

Just a thought.
you mean post on this board?

wow! yeah, that makes sense not at all.
Why not? What secondary gain would they have? Particularly if they were one of "the big boys or girls".
What do you think the ratio of people thanking them for this information would be against the people blasting them for their unfair pricing that only PC gives?
Jim Coley ITB

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"You could spend a lot more money, and not get a better Burgundy...” - Carlo Rossi

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#4764 Post by Peter Tryba » January 11th, 2016, 2:26 pm

As it was said upstream, there was (is) no benefit to posting here about PC if you're ITB in any capacity. I am and never did (will).
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#4765 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 2:28 pm

Jim how about statements that no one recieved any sales below $X amount. No one.

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#4766 Post by M.Kaplan » January 11th, 2016, 2:30 pm

Bruce Leiser_owitz wrote:
...
To be very direct, it's not as if it was a mystery what people ITB thought about PC and its business model. All you had to do was ask people you knew--retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, etc.--what they thought. If you were having a private one-on-one conversation, most people ITB were more than willing to tell you what they thought (although many would ask you not to repeat it or attribute it to them).

Bruce
Yup. For at least 10 years.
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#4767 Post by jcoley3 » January 11th, 2016, 2:38 pm

Andrew,

Think back the some of the more outlandish theories that were offered around PC here and elsewhere. They were the secret bank to the top estates of Bordeaux and Burgundy and were paid in secret discount wine that they had to hold for an extended period of time, then could release to the public - and, oh, they just happened to sell them super cheap instead of at market value.

They were the secret wine outlet for every single wholesaler and distributor here and abroad for when they had overbought and needed to dump wine. Their aged wine offerings were fuelled by widows and European cellars and restaurants that, rather than realize market values, chose instead to sell at a heavy discount to PC, who in turn decided to ALSO discount the wines.

Instead of shipping purchased wines to the U.S., they used their warehouse full of delayed cherries to collateralize a line of credit and trade commodity wines in Europe, and then profit-sharing with their unwitting customers via discounts.

Even a man who calls himself a Bordeaux insider remained willfully blind to PC's Bordeaux pricing techniques, openly admitting he did not care just so long as his wines showed up.

No one would have believed the wineries, or they would have distrusted their motives.
Jim Coley ITB

"So I say, like Ortega y Gasset, that when a lot of people agree on something, it's either a stupid idea or a beautiful woman." - Alvaro Mutis

"You could spend a lot more money, and not get a better Burgundy...” - Carlo Rossi

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#4768 Post by ERPark » January 11th, 2016, 2:53 pm

Anyone could spend a minute doing some Google Fu (no relation to Charlie), and unearth plenty of evidence from ITB sources that PC was doing something distinctly weird. Wine Spectator article from several months ago had a quote from Laurent Ponsot and also name dropped Ch Haut Brion:

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/52184
Queried about Premier Cru's pricing, proprietor Laurent Ponsot told Wine Spectator, "They don't have the wines. People come to their shop and they are answered that everything from Ponsot has just been sold out, but they propose something else on which they put a higher margin.”
For cost-conscious customers, the lure of purchasing from Premier Cru is that prices are often well-below the competition. An Oct. 4 e-mail, for example, offered, for two days only, a 40 percent discount off posted prices on a bevy of in-demand wines. Among them was Haut-Brion 2014, discounted to $186. By comparison, the ex-négociant futures price offered by the château a few months ago was $268.
GEN3

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#4769 Post by Carl Steefel » January 11th, 2016, 3:02 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
Bruce Leiser_owitz wrote:
...
To be very direct, it's not as if it was a mystery what people ITB thought about PC and its business model. All you had to do was ask people you knew--retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, etc.--what they thought. If you were having a private one-on-one conversation, most people ITB were more than willing to tell you what they thought (although many would ask you not to repeat it or attribute it to them).

Bruce
Yup. For at least 10 years.
Good to hear about all of this now. Caveat emptor for the non-ITB consumer, which is probably the way it should be. The only ITB guys I knew worked for Premier Cru...

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#4770 Post by Carl Steefel » January 11th, 2016, 3:07 pm

jcoley3 wrote:
What do you think the ratio of people thanking them for this information would be against the people blasting them for their unfair pricing that only PC gives?
I don't recall blasting anybody ITB (but maybe somebody will dig out an old post where I did, but I don't remember it). So I would have thanked them. But I understand the reluctance to offer this kind of information, although we seem to be getting plenty of it "after the fact"... But I cannot say what the ratio would have been...

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#4771 Post by David J » January 11th, 2016, 3:08 pm

Most if not all losses could have been prevented by heeding the old adage, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is."
j = J 0 y c e
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#4772 Post by Brad England » January 11th, 2016, 3:13 pm

Carl, people (both ITB and just regular wine guys) were blasting it from the rooftops. It must be lonely on that island of yours, but most of the many wine guys I know actually talk to each other a lot about wine, the business of wine, and things like that.
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#4773 Post by ybarselah » January 11th, 2016, 3:15 pm

Carl Steefel wrote:
M.Kaplan wrote:
Bruce Leiser_owitz wrote:
...
To be very direct, it's not as if it was a mystery what people ITB thought about PC and its business model. All you had to do was ask people you knew--retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, etc.--what they thought. If you were having a private one-on-one conversation, most people ITB were more than willing to tell you what they thought (although many would ask you not to repeat it or attribute it to them).

Bruce
Yup. For at least 10 years.
Good to hear about all of this now. Caveat emptor for the non-ITB consumer, which is probably the way it should be. The only ITB guys I knew worked for Premier Cru...
meh to that, this thread has been on the top of this board for over a year and started in 2012....and it was "omg, are we really talking about this again" for a while after that...hardly "now"
Yaacov (ITB)

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#4774 Post by jcoley3 » January 11th, 2016, 3:25 pm

Carl Steefel wrote:
jcoley3 wrote:
What do you think the ratio of people thanking them for this information would be against the people blasting them for their unfair pricing that only PC gives?
I don't recall blasting anybody ITB (but maybe somebody will dig out an old post where I did, but I don't remember it). So I would have thanked them. But I understand the reluctance to offer this kind of information, although we seem to be getting plenty of it "after the fact"... But I cannot say what the ratio would have been...
Carl,

To my memory. you've always been a gentleman poster, here and elsewhere.
Brad England wrote:Carl, people (both ITB and just regular wine guys) were blasting it from the rooftops. It must be lonely on that island of yours, but most of the many wine guys I know actually talk to each other a lot about wine, the business of wine, and things like that.
IIRC, you might have been one of the first people I ever met who had soured on PC when we met at Mitch Hersh's La Paulee weekend. At least on pre-arrivals. I hadn't paid much attention to them at all then.
Jim Coley ITB

"So I say, like Ortega y Gasset, that when a lot of people agree on something, it's either a stupid idea or a beautiful woman." - Alvaro Mutis

"You could spend a lot more money, and not get a better Burgundy...” - Carlo Rossi

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#4775 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 11th, 2016, 3:30 pm


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#4776 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 3:31 pm

ERPark wrote:Anyone could spend a minute doing some Google Fu (no relation to Charlie), and unearth plenty of evidence from ITB sources that PC was doing something distinctly weird. Wine Spectator article from several months ago had a quote from Laurent Ponsot and also name dropped Ch Haut Brion:

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/52184
Queried about Premier Cru's pricing, proprietor Laurent Ponsot told Wine Spectator, "They don't have the wines. People come to their shop and they are answered that everything from Ponsot has just been sold out, but they propose something else on which they put a higher margin.”
For cost-conscious customers, the lure of purchasing from Premier Cru is that prices are often well-below the competition. An Oct. 4 e-mail, for example, offered, for two days only, a 40 percent discount off posted prices on a bevy of in-demand wines. Among them was Haut-Brion 2014, discounted to $186. By comparison, the ex-négociant futures price offered by the château a few months ago was $268.
If he was willing to discuss that in an article why not on boards?
Last edited by Andrew Kaufman on January 11th, 2016, 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#4777 Post by Carl Steefel » January 11th, 2016, 3:31 pm

Brad England wrote:Carl, people (both ITB and just regular wine guys) were blasting it from the rooftops. It must be lonely on that island of yours, but most of the many wine guys I know actually talk to each other a lot about wine, the business of wine, and things like that.
Well, perhaps this was the case, but I was not frequenting the Board much during this period. And I do not recall any real facts coming my way. In addition to the fact that the wine guys I talked to (at least recently) were in the same boat as me with respect to Premier Cru.

If I get some time, I may wander back through the early days of this thread to see what was actually provided. Of course, some of what struck me as speculation at the time I may now discover to be the pure prescient genius on the part of those warning us...
Last edited by Carl Steefel on January 11th, 2016, 3:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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#4778 Post by c fu » January 11th, 2016, 3:33 pm

Andrew Kaufman wrote:
ERPark wrote:Anyone could spend a minute doing some Google Fu (no relation to Charlie), and unearth plenty of evidence from ITB sources that PC was doing something distinctly weird. Wine Spectator article from several months ago had a quote from Laurent Ponsot and also name dropped Ch Haut Brion:

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/52184
Queried about Premier Cru's pricing, proprietor Laurent Ponsot told Wine Spectator, "They don't have the wines. People come to their shop and they are answered that everything from Ponsot has just been sold out, but they propose something else on which they put a higher margin.
For cost-conscious customers, the lure of purchasing from Premier Cru is that prices are often well-below the competition. An Oct. 4 e-mail, for example, offered, for two days only, a 40 percent discount off posted prices on a bevy of in-demand wines. Among them was Haut-Brion 2014, discounted to $186. By comparison, the ex-négociant futures price offered by the château a few months ago was $268.
If the were willing to discuss that in an article why not on boards?
For Ponsot it's probably cause people will call him out for his claims. I remember he threw out some ridiculous stat number for fake btls and the % at auctions. It was laughable.
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#4779 Post by Bruce Leiser_owitz » January 11th, 2016, 3:40 pm

"Talocka said he has bought wine from Premier Cru since 2011. The in-stock purchases always went through, he said, but not the wine futures -- vintages still aging and not yet bottled, and bought at inexpensive prices. He planned to flip the wine and took out a second mortgage to pay for the Premier Cru wine."

Image

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#4780 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 11th, 2016, 3:43 pm

Peter Tryba wrote:As it was said upstream, there was (is) no benefit to posting here about PC if you're ITB in any capacity. I am and never did (will).
And yet the ITBers who did post here and elsewhere were central to blowing up the PC Ponzi scheme, with no apparent motive other than helping wine board readers get out before it was too late. There was enormous benefit to PC customers, if little or none to the ITBers themselves. This would not have happened without them, full stop. You can breathe easy, Peter. Those stalwart ITBers who braved the abuse of a bunch of PC loyalists who knew better than everyone else (until they did not) helped get the job done. I think that the FBI and CA criminal justice system and the bankruptcy court can take it from here...

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#4781 Post by Carl Steefel » January 11th, 2016, 3:47 pm

Bill Klapp wrote:
Peter Tryba wrote:As it was said upstream, there was (is) no benefit to posting here about PC if you're ITB in any capacity. I am and never did (will).
And yet the ITBers who did post here and elsewhere were central to blowing up the PC Ponzi scheme, with no apparent motive other than helping wine board readers get out before it was too late. There was enormous benefit to PC customers, if little or none to the ITBers themselves. This would not have happened without them, full stop. You can breathe easy, Peter. Those stalwart ITBers who braved the abuse of a bunch of PC loyalists who knew better than everyone else (until they did not) helped get the job done. I think that the FBI and CA criminal justice system and the bankruptcy court can take it from here...
Apparently there were some who spoke up, others did not (perhaps for the very good reasons they mentioned). Anyway, my congratulations and thanks to those who did, even if I was too slow-witted to take it to heart...

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#4782 Post by Ed Murray » January 11th, 2016, 4:02 pm

M.Kaplan wrote:
Bruce Leiser_owitz wrote:
...
To be very direct, it's not as if it was a mystery what people ITB thought about PC and its business model. All you had to do was ask people you knew--retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, etc.--what they thought. If you were having a private one-on-one conversation, most people ITB were more than willing to tell you what they thought (although many would ask you not to repeat it or attribute it to them).

Bruce
Yup. For at least 10 years.
...add to that former, fed up, customers.
It's not the event, it's the reaction to the event!

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#4783 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 11th, 2016, 4:15 pm

Faryan Amir-Ghassem¡ wrote:
Bruce Leiser_owitz wrote:
ybarselah wrote:not to put too fine a point on it, this isn't theoretical. what lyle, martin, and many others are describing is real and on display in this very thread within the first 15 pages. and, perhaps more important from a board culture standpoint, that militant anti-ITB attitude was perpetrated by board regulars.
It's also worth mentioning that at least some ITB folks declined to post in this thread (or elsewhere) on this topic out of concern for getting sued for defamation, etc. Basically, it was all downside and no upside for posting about Premier Cru in a thread like this one.

To be very direct, it's not as if it was a mystery what people ITB thought about PC and its business model. All you had to do was ask people you knew--retailers, wholesalers, distributors, importers, etc.--what they thought. If you were having a private one-on-one conversation, most people ITB were more than willing to tell you what they thought (although many would ask you not to repeat it or attribute it to them).

Bruce
Absolutely. To blame someone for not speaking publicly with circumstantial evidence - at the risk of a protracted defamation suit - is ridiculous.

Bill Klapp's aspersions towards Don Cornwell are appalling as are most of his dry and ascerbic posts. A master troll.
Faryan, it appears that reading carefully is not your strong suit. I blamed no one for not speaking publicly. Quite the contrary. I said that it was perfectly reasonable for Don to choose not to weigh in on PC, since he had his plate full with the Rudy business. I said only that it was inappropriate for those who played no role in the process to show up now and take credit for PC's downfall, a very different thing. You really need to research "troll", by the way. The definition is not "people whose style you do not like" or "people whose thoughtful and carefully crafted posts you disagree with". If you want to see a troll in action, have a look at Martin Steinley's posts. No substance, no points to be made, no interest in the topic at hand, just stirring for the sake of stirring...

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#4784 Post by Nick Ryan » January 11th, 2016, 4:17 pm

ybarselah wrote:the front page of PC's website has been saved 106 times on the wayback machine between April 2006 (!!) and today.

and if anyone needs the archived version of the pre-arrival page, it's here:

http://web.archive.org/web/201601112042 ... 78DCBC8EA7

in case the site goes down at some point.
The more relevant version of that page is prior to them changing the language. For example, here is the May 17 2014 version:

http://web.archive.org/web/201405172329 ... 86F4D6A3A1

Note how the language changes from "The term "Pre-Arrival" is applied to wines we have purchased" to "The term 'pre-arrival' is applied to wines that we offer for sale". I know this has been pointed out before but it bears repeating since it's essentially direct evidence of fraudulent misrepresentation (based on the fact that they never actually had bought most of the wine they offered as pre-arrival at the time of offering). Unfortunately I can only find those two versions of this page archived (the 2016 and 2014). Anyone else saved or able to convince archive.org to cough up later versions that still have the "purchased" language?
http://sites.google.com/site/nryan4242/CellarPlannerV11.zip

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#4785 Post by ATaylor » January 11th, 2016, 4:29 pm

Nick Ryan wrote:Note how the language changes from "The term "Pre-Arrival" is applied to wines we have purchased" to "The term 'pre-arrival' is applied to wines that we offer for sale". I know this has been pointed out before but it bears repeating since it's essentially direct evidence of fraudulent misrepresentation (based on the fact that they never actually had bought most of the wine they offered as pre-arrival at the time of offering). Unfortunately I can only find those two versions of this page archived (the 2016 and 2014). Anyone else saved or able to convince archive.org to cough up later versions that still have the "purchased" language?
You don't even need to archived page. Go to the website under "Terms and Conditions": https://www.premiercru.net/premier/company/Legal.do

The purchased language is still there.....along with pics of tons of wooden cases in a warehouse.

Pre-Arrival Wines versus In-Stock Wines
The term "Pre-Arrival" is applied to wines we have purchased (typically abroad) that have not arrived yet. Depending on the particular wine, the arrival time is typically 6+ months to over two years (in the case of Bordeaux Futures, for example).
Many new releases of highly desirable, limited-production wines (ie - Burgundy, Rhone, Italian, etc.) are offered on a "Pre-Arrival" basis by our suppliers. These offerings typically take 6 to 18 months to arrive and are often the only way to source the wines before they sell out (and at optimal prices). We send an email notification when your wines arrive.
@ndrew

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#4786 Post by gene keenan » January 11th, 2016, 4:29 pm

Carl Steefel wrote:
jcoley3 wrote:
What do you think the ratio of people thanking them for this information would be against the people blasting them for their unfair pricing that only PC gives?
I don't recall blasting anybody ITB (but maybe somebody will dig out an old post where I did, but I don't remember it). So I would have thanked them. But I understand the reluctance to offer this kind of information, although we seem to be getting plenty of it "after the fact"... But I cannot say what the ratio would have been...
There were many many people both here and the Parker board including myself that said PC was bad but because the prices were so good (too good it turns out) those voices were squelched.
Jerry loved well aged BV Private Reserve Georges De Latour

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#4787 Post by ybarselah » January 11th, 2016, 4:30 pm

nice catch, nick!
Yaacov (ITB)

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#4788 Post by ybarselah » January 11th, 2016, 4:32 pm

lol the t&c page has been saved 34 times since 2007!!
Yaacov (ITB)

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#4789 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 4:34 pm

NR wasn't that change fairly recent?

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#4790 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 4:39 pm

ATaylor wrote:
Nick Ryan wrote:Note how the language changes from "The term "Pre-Arrival" is applied to wines we have purchased" to "The term 'pre-arrival' is applied to wines that we offer for sale". I know this has been pointed out before but it bears repeating since it's essentially direct evidence of fraudulent misrepresentation (based on the fact that they never actually had bought most of the wine they offered as pre-arrival at the time of offering). Unfortunately I can only find those two versions of this page archived (the 2016 and 2014). Anyone else saved or able to convince archive.org to cough up later versions that still have the "purchased" language?
You don't even need to archived page. Go to the website under "Terms and Conditions": https://www.premiercru.net/premier/company/Legal.do

The purchased language is still there.....along with pics of tons of wooden cases in a warehouse.

Pre-Arrival Wines versus In-Stock Wines
The term "Pre-Arrival" is applied to wines we have purchased (typically abroad) that have not arrived yet. Depending on the particular wine, the arrival time is typically 6+ months to over two years (in the case of Bordeaux Futures, for example).
Many new releases of highly desirable, limited-production wines (ie - Burgundy, Rhone, Italian, etc.) are offered on a "Pre-Arrival" basis by our suppliers. These offerings typically take 6 to 18 months to arrive and are often the only way to source the wines before they sell out (and at optimal prices). We send an email notification when your wines arrive.
I get offer now.

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#4791 Post by Martin Steinley » January 11th, 2016, 4:40 pm

Bill Klapp wrote:I said only that it was inappropriate for those who played no role in the process to show up now and take credit for PC's downfall, a very different thing.
You have implied at least two times that I have done this. Please show me where. I reiterate my point that if loud, belligerent bullies like you were not here (even though, remarkably, you were on the right side here) perhaps more could have been done sooner to expose the fraud.
ITB

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#4792 Post by ERPark » January 11th, 2016, 4:43 pm

Andrew Kaufman wrote:
ERPark wrote:Anyone could spend a minute doing some Google Fu (no relation to Charlie), and unearth plenty of evidence from ITB sources that PC was doing something distinctly weird. Wine Spectator article from several months ago had a quote from Laurent Ponsot and also name dropped Ch Haut Brion:

http://www.winespectator.com/webfeature/show/id/52184
Queried about Premier Cru's pricing, proprietor Laurent Ponsot told Wine Spectator, "They don't have the wines. People come to their shop and they are answered that everything from Ponsot has just been sold out, but they propose something else on which they put a higher margin.”
For cost-conscious customers, the lure of purchasing from Premier Cru is that prices are often well-below the competition. An Oct. 4 e-mail, for example, offered, for two days only, a 40 percent discount off posted prices on a bevy of in-demand wines. Among them was Haut-Brion 2014, discounted to $186. By comparison, the ex-négociant futures price offered by the château a few months ago was $268.
If he was willing to discuss that in an article why not on boards?
Cuz he doesn't want to mingle with people like you, perhaps?

Is there some point to your line of questioning/whining here? You're better off asking him this question. I don't know him, and won't speak for him even if I did.
GEN3

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#4793 Post by Nick Ryan » January 11th, 2016, 4:44 pm

ATaylor wrote: You don't even need to archived page. Go to the website under "Terms and Conditions": https://www.premiercru.net/premier/company/Legal.do

The purchased language is still there.....along with pics of tons of wooden cases in a warehouse.

Pre-Arrival Wines versus In-Stock Wines
The term "Pre-Arrival" is applied to wines we have purchased (typically abroad) that have not arrived yet. Depending on the particular wine, the arrival time is typically 6+ months to over two years (in the case of Bordeaux Futures, for example).
Many new releases of highly desirable, limited-production wines (ie - Burgundy, Rhone, Italian, etc.) are offered on a "Pre-Arrival" basis by our suppliers. These offerings typically take 6 to 18 months to arrive and are often the only way to source the wines before they sell out (and at optimal prices). We send an email notification when your wines arrive.
Good point, I now remember this being pointed out... that they tried to cover their tracks by changing the PreArrival page but forgot to scrub this page. How can this not be an open-and-shut criminal fraud case?
http://sites.google.com/site/nryan4242/CellarPlannerV11.zip

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#4794 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 4:46 pm

ERPark wrote:
Andrew Kaufman wrote:
If he was willing to discuss that in an article why not on boards?
Cuz he doesn't want to mingle with people like you, perhaps?

Is there some point to your line of questioning/whining here? You're better off asking him this question. I don't know him, and won't speak for him even if I did.
Have a wonderful day.

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#4795 Post by ERPark » January 11th, 2016, 4:49 pm

Andrew Kaufman wrote:
ERPark wrote:
Andrew Kaufman wrote:
If he was willing to discuss that in an article why not on boards?
Cuz he doesn't want to mingle with people like you, perhaps?

Is there some point to your line of questioning/whining here? You're better off asking him this question. I don't know him, and won't speak for him even if I did.
Or a piece of dreck like you. Einstein.
Glad you finally stopped with the silly questions.
GEN3

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#4796 Post by Alan Rath » January 11th, 2016, 4:58 pm

Brad England wrote:Carl, people (both ITB and just regular wine guys) were blasting it from the rooftops. It must be lonely on that island of yours, but most of the many wine guys I know actually talk to each other a lot about wine, the business of wine, and things like that.
I think it might be worth dividing the customer base into at least a couple of segments. I'm a little fish. Tiny fish. I bought small quantities of relatively modest wines from PC over about 15 years, and had almost all of them delivered (at least until the past couple of years, but that wasn't so unusual for them). I walked into the store (originally in Emeryville, nothing fancy at all) regularly to pick up my wines to find a pretty bustling place, with lots of employees, probably busier and more active than most retail shops, well organized, good order tracking, very few mistakes on my deliveries. Until fairly recently, prices were generally good, on the low end of the market, but not so outrageous as to be a tip off that it was a scam operation.

As you say, there have been discussions of PC's suspect operations for many years, far pre-dating the existence of Berserkers. And yet PC continued to thrive and deliver through all that speculation. And apparently growing and expanding into a very nice new Berkeley facility.

So I hope those who think anyone who did business with them was a fool aren't claiming that a few nay-sayers (and unfortunately, sometimes ones with vocal and abrasive reputations) were enough to dissuade some of us based on what we were experiencing and seeing with our own eyes.

Having said that, I very much appreciate PaulB's alerts, and other contributors raising the red flag higher over the past year or so. I had my own red flags, based on the wines and prices being offered over the past couple of years. It should have been clear to anyone paying attention that they would never be able to deliver those wines, and that something was clearly wrong.
I'm just one lost soul, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

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#4797 Post by Mike Miller » January 11th, 2016, 5:40 pm

On a new question, what do the assembled multitudes think about starting a NEW THREAD that relates only to news on Premier Cru's bankruptcy case? No speculation about what happened, who's to blame, who should have warned who, etc. Not that I have any expectation that a unsecured creditor will receive a dime, but it's like the morbid fascination of watching a train wreck.

Thoughts?

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#4798 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 11th, 2016, 6:04 pm

Mike Miller wrote:On a new question, what do the assembled multitudes think about starting a NEW THREAD that relates only to news on Premier Cru's bankruptcy case? No speculation about what happened, who's to blame, who should have warned who, etc. Not that I have any expectation that a unsecured creditor will receive a dime, but it's like the morbid fascination of watching a train wreck.

Thoughts?
Good idea. Query whether it should be bankruptcy and criminal combined, or separate threads for each. This thread can stay around for credit card and insurance developments...

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#4799 Post by Andrew Kaufman » January 11th, 2016, 6:07 pm

Bill and Mike this is essentially going to be a no assist BK unless there is a large clawback or recapture of assets.

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#4800 Post by Bill Klapp (deactivated) » January 11th, 2016, 6:41 pm

Andrew Kaufman wrote:Bill and Mike this is essentially going to be a no assist BK unless there is a large clawback or recapture of assets.
I understand that (and said so upstream), but there is every reason for those out money to follow what the trustee does and does not do with respect to clawbacks. The enormity of the loss, with criminal fraud charges virtually assured, requires that the trustee at least look at all avenues of recovery before declaring this to be a no-asset case...

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