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Mollydooker:  A Left-handed Punch in the Gut or Not?

Within the span of 24-hours this past weekend, I had a conversation with an Australian wine marketing representative who described her role as, “The toughest job in the wine business,” and word spread about a wee wine accident Down Under.

In a story that was picked up by Time, CNN, MSNBC, Huffington Post and most major news outlets, it seems 461 cases of a 462 case parcel of the 2010 Mollydooker “Velvet Glove” Shiraz destined for the U.S. was dropped by a forklift while loading a container, creating broken bottles and, at the least, damage to the bespoke bottles with a velvet label and a $185 per bottle price tag.

Initial news reports were quick to point out that the wine was insured. 

I was in the company of wine writer’s this past weekend and they pondered whether this massive wine spill was actually a bad thing—the Mollydooker wines having a certain reputation for their over-the-top blowsy style favored by Parker and Wine Spectator who reviewed the 2009 vintage with scores of 97 and 96, respectively.

On Monday, July 25th the winery issued its own press release answering some “whys and wherefores” in how the accident happened after news reports were largely based on the scant original reporting from the Associated Press.

Yet, interestingly, Decanter.com subsequently reported that the winery press release with the headline, “Years of Tears and Sweat and More Than $1 Million Worth of Fine Wine Go Down the Drain” was rescinded and replaced with another press release titled, “Years of Love and Care, and More Than $1 Million Worth of Fine Wine, Go Down the Drain.”

If you’re ever curious about what happens when a press release is pulled online go ahead and search for the first headline I mentioned and you’ll see pages and pages of empty pages from syndicated press releases that serve as content for news sites.

Aside from the curiosity of all of this – broken bottles and the vagaries of press release headlines—the reality remains that this is probably the best thing that could possibly happen for Mollydooker and their “Velvet Glove” brand.  With an insurance policy, millions and millions of dollars of free press and the not inconsequential fact that despite its incredible critical scores, the 2009 wine (called a “Cult” wine by some) is largely available in the U.S. with plummeting pricing, winery owners Sarah and Sparky Marquis should be just fine despite the quote from Sparky where he noted, “This wine is our pride and joy, so to see it accidentally destroyed, and not consumed, has left us all a bit numb.”

Wine-Searcher tells a more interesting story.  The below graph illustrates the drop in price at U.S. retail over the last 12 months, which is decidedly, non-“cult-ish.”

image

To respond to the rhetorical statement from my new Australian wine marketing friend who described her job as, “The toughest job in the wine business,” I would say:  The toughest job in the wine business is convincing a retailer to buy the 2010 Velvet Glove when the 2009 with insanely good ratings is still widely available below suggested retail price.

While the Marquis’ may be “numb” and crying over spilled wine, U.S. wine retailers are crying over dead inventory and there’s no insurance for that.



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Posted in, Good Grape Daily: Pomace & Lees. Permalink | Comments (12) |


Comments

On 07/27, Sparky Marquis wrote:

Gday Good Grape Team,
thanks for posting about the accident that we had with the 2010 Mollydooker Velvet Glove.  Your comments are greatly appreciated. Being almost absolutely new to electronic press media, can you possibly imagine that we removed the first press release without having the slightest idea at all that it had already posted to over 3,000 sites (i clicked on your link). My MOM, Janet, removed it as she has always believed “if you cant say something good, dont say anything at all” and she wanted to make sure that people knew that Sarah and I love making wine and that it is our passion (proud Moms-that is why i love her). having now learnt “dont remove your press releases” we have spent today talking to, tweeting with, and Facebooking everybody that has had all sorts of questions as a result of the blank pages. i filmed this clip in our winery which may fill in the canvas for your loyal readers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qZe0yWkd7Y&feature=player_embedded . if anybody has any questions please feel free to email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and i will do my best to answer as soon as possible. With deep regards Sparky Marquis (Sarah’s Husband/CEO/Winemaker)

On 07/27, janet Gawith wrote:

Jeff, so sorry to hear of the death of your dad. It is a great wrench, isn’t it. Thanks for writing so openly. In our societies we don’t share our pain much and it is a real shock when it hits you. 20 years after the deaths of my parents, your blog brought back the pain and the pride of the experience.
It sounds as though your dad was a great guy. A real ethical battler. You must be very proud of him. Our hearts go out to you at this painful and difficult time. 
Janet (Sparky’s Mom)

On 08/12, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

461 cases? That’s a big loss for Mollydooker. We’ll just hope that they will be able to cope up with the loss of the spilled wine. We had the same situation in our small business when some of our products were having problem. It really isn’t easy. Convincing others for investing memberships was hard.

On 09/09, Babysitting wrote:

I would die if that happened when I owned the company!  Insured or not, it would be quite a hassle dealing with that much of a problem.

On 09/26, Birkenstock Gizeh wrote:

461 cases is a lot of wine! Although I don’t think it’s that much of a punch in the gut due to insurance.  But it’s a huge loss nonetheless.

On 11/02, gamble just wrote:

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On 11/21, Dallas CPR Classes wrote:

Way to go Mollydooker!  I’d have crashed a forklift myself if it meant my company gets in the major press for about a week.  Great way to get your name out there in a positive way while people identify your brand as something very high end.

On 12/07, camping hunting supplies wrote:

having now learnt “dont remove your press releases” we have spent today talking to, tweeting with, and Facebooking everybody that has had all sorts of questions as a result of the blank pages.

On 05/04, TN Pas Cher wrote:

dont remove your press releases” we have spent today talking to, tweeting with, and Facebooki

On 05/31, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

The toughest job in the wine business is convincing a retailer to buy the 2010 Velvet Glove when the 2009 with insanely good ratings is still widely available below suggested retail price. live online dental webcast

On 07/13, bridge cranes wrote:

That’s a very significant decrease!

On 06/12, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) wrote:

The graph looks really depressing but for the consumer, I bet this would be the best graph that they will see…
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