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The Society Guarantee - Discuss!

I still have four '99s and the last of them I tried was just over a year ago and was still full of life. Generally speaking Musar is very long lived; my bad one was a '97 and it was just very tired and I suspect it had not been kept well (not TWS). It seemed very oxidised to me. Cork very loose.

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It was a general observation, certainly not directed at anyone on here, and probably not 99.99% of TWS members. More a societal observation. I’ve seen enough examples of people seeking compensation for financial decisions where they knew very well what they were doing but then want compensation for inherently uncertain outcomes.


Apologies @MarkC, my misunderstanding.

All this does worry me now about this product description - I mean, even by the vagueness of the trade’s description act this doesn’t leave a lot of wriggle room. I’m still to open this bottle - But if it’s as flat as a pancake, lacking flavour intensity, high quality structural elements etc…why would a customer refuse to use the society’s promise with such a claim? If it was fairly generic as a description then fair dos, they’ve not mentioned it’s a stunner. But one of the greatest syrah’s in the southern hemisphere?? (By the way I’m super excited about opening it!)


We do indeed. :slight_smile: Although in my experience (back in my Member Services days) people are far more likely to try to refuse a credit - they call in ‘just to let us know’ about a dodgy bottle (in case of a wider problem), and take some convincing that they’re entitled to a credit. It’s very sweet, actually.


Yes…but describing a product accurately is fine when dealing with aspects that are clearly objective; this is a red wine, alcohol content is 14%, it’s made from 100% Syrah. The more subjective elements are a lot more difficult to define as ‘accurately’…

I don’t have a problem with TWS Guarantee if it’s used and managed properly and can see the commercial advantages as well as the support of the ethos. However, there has to be a way of ensuring that a small minority don’t take the proverbial…and my comment was that there is an increasing ‘compensation’ culture among some elements of society which I find distasteful, and I resent paying for that.


That’s sweet, and restores my faith a bit…I know when I have done it, all twice, there was no problem at all. I was told that if there was a problem with a second or subsequent bottle they would refund the whole case and arrange for pick up including an opened bottle.


Of course, but the description is still part of the product decription and should be taken in accordingly. I’m sure you’ve had stuff oversold to you and you thought ‘what a con!’.

I absolutely agree that in general the ‘buyer beware’ element sits highest and if you don’t like it then you can take your purchase power elsewhere, but as a society of members we have a bit deeper a relationship and as you say, it’s a 2 way thing. I bet there are very, very few people ever using the promise so it’s probably a storm in a teacup. Tis all a balance between the discretion and careful eye of member services and the sober and objective consideration of the buyer. Somewhere in there is a happy relationship.


No need to apologise, maybe I could have been clearer.

They shouldn’t, as the wine is probably faulty, and even if not then they might be entitled to think so. In this case, TWS should probably be on alert for other complaints or ask the buyer to taste it. Unfortunately, by the time an opened bottle got returned to them it would probably fit the above description anyway! Unless Coravined…

“One of the greatest…” doesn’t in itself mean a lot. There might be 3 or 103 in that category.

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Good summary. Hence my question to Laura about how often it happens and how they check up on abuse of it.

I’m sure back in the day, someone just discreetly moved a ‘black ball’ to the right place, and the member was never seen again…cad, don’t you know, old chap? :wink:

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Haha. I do kind of like the swashbucklingness of the tasting note and I love it when someone wears their heart on their sleeve when selling a product. Just hope it pairs with my Fray Bentos pie!


I didn’t know these still existed! Just remember to take it out the tin, or we look forward to the Syrah having ‘faint metallic notes, typical of the terroir’. Perhaps an Argentinian Syrah would be fitting?


First thing my husband ‘cooked’ for me when we started seeing each other. He was the laughing stock of the office…! :crazy_face:


Uruguayian Tannat, surely?

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I’m originally from Hawke’s Bay and usually (pre-pandemic) go home once a year, and I think its fair to say that there’s a wee bit of hyperbole in there. Te Mata is a great winery (they are more famous for their top Bordeaux blend, Coleraine) but off the top of my head I can think of three of four Hawke’s Bay syrahs that are regarded more highly (not to mention a couple of little places called Australia and South Africa…) Having said that, I’ve had several vintages of Bullnose and have always enjoyed it immensely.

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He must’ve brought a bottle of that with him to get to date number 2!! :sweat_smile:

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Careful: one the wines listed as ‘members also bought’ is the Trinity Hill Syrah which was one of the wines which started this discussion.

that was my experience - I genuinely didn’t expect a refund, because it wasn’t obviously suffering from a dodgy seal or anything like that. It was just really, really dull, and nothing like the description, so I thought I’d let customer services know in case there was a wider problem. The second bottle was much better, and closely matched the enthusiastic description on the website.

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I believe jancis robinson was quoted as saying it was perfect or the best value wine ever. I’m a huuuuuge nz wine fan, hence this particular indulgence. I guess in all this I’d like people to be accountable for the things they sell and write about as the other side of the coin to what people read into and buy.

I’ve asked for refunds for corked/cooked bottles. On the rare occasion something hasn’t been to my taste it’s generally been a single bottle.

I got a refund for the whole case in ‘Riberagate’ which was two opened and rejected, four returned unopened. As the wine which many of us returned was re-tasted by WS staff and judged to be generally not faulty, I have to put this down as a matter of taste. I only opened a second one because the first was so bad I assumed it was faulty!


Cant think of any other wine seller which offers such a ‘no quibble’ guarantee. Amazon maybe (but that’s to do with the distance selling regs)

I only use it if there is something clearly at fault with the wine, it’s undrinkable, and if the bottle cost more than average. TCA taint springs to mind, or (whatever it is) that makes some red wines smell of apple vinegar. If however it’s ‘not to my taste’ then - that’s my problem.

Loire Chenins seem vulnerable & red Burgundies, with the risk increasing with cellar age - if one buys old wines, one should accept responsibility for higher risk of faults.

Had a full refund for a 6 x case that went missing courtesy of DHL - but that’s another thread, 98% of the time they are excellent.

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