Apparently the walls have ears...
A month or so ago I mentioned in passing on the Mark Squires message boards that I had a couple unfortunate experiences w/ corky, off-bottles of Achaval Ferrer Malbec. Low and behold, a few days after my post, I was sent a private message from Santiago Achaval himself, expressing his apologies and insisting that he send me replacement bottles.
2 bottles of 2004 Quimera arrived in the mail this week, w/ an '05 Altamira on it's way once it is bottled (the corked experience I had was w/ the '03 vintage Altamira, a single vineyard that is no longer in stock at the winery so he promised to pass along the '05 once it's bottled). From Mendoza, Argentina, to a Brooklyn storage facility in New York, the wine arrived w/o hesitation, reminder or a hassle for postage. Santiago never as
ked for proof nor did he ever question my sincerity. I only hope he takes me up on my offer to buy him a drink when he returns to New York, the absolute least I can do.
Santiago's modesty is expressed in his non-interference approach to winemaking, and the pure, racy depth of his high altitude Malbec tells the truth of his philosophy. Much like Bruno Borie of Ducru Beaucaillou, Santiago's dedication and passion extend far beyond the sale of their product.
There are no guarantees in wine, which remain a part of its 'human' beauty. It seems, at least in this case, the human element is not what is wrong about wine...it is what's right about it.
This, my friends, is customer service.