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VisitVineyards.com _ For Sale _ Cellarmasters

Posted by: Rodney Oct 5 2002, 08:41 AM

What is the story with Cellarmasters wines?

In their brochure I often see a lot of their wines have won Trophies and numerous Gold Medals but I've never seen any of them reviewed by the Penguin GWG or Halliday's Wine Companion or the Bradley Guide. Why not?

I know they are reviewed in Winestate but I wondered whether Winestate was actually owned by the same company that owns Cellarmasters. Is it? If it is, then obviously the reviews need to be treated with a grain of salt.

Also, if I buy a Maglieri Shiraz from Cellarmasters is it the same wine as the Maglieri Shiraz that I can buy at a bottle shop? If not is it better or worse? Same goes for all brands available on Cellarmasters. The names and labelling are often slightly different. Are they just disposing of thier 2nd rate wine by this method or are the members getting something better than the general public?

Any comments welcome?



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Posted by: MartinC Oct 5 2002, 02:08 PM

Hi there,

I've seen some Fox Creek "reg" Shiraz fr Cellarmater.Anyone here tried it b4?

Rgds,MC



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Posted by: TORB Oct 5 2002, 07:16 PM

Rodney,

To the best of my knowledge CM and Winestate have no commercial realtionship. The reason that you see CM wine reviewed in WS and not in other publications is that CM submits wine to WS but not to the other publications. They obviously believe they can do best with WS.

There is nothing to say that a "Brand X Shiraz " wine sold in retailers will be the same wine as "Brand X" wine sold through CM. Even though the name is the same FREQUENTLY the wines are totally different. The 98 Tatachilla Shiraz was a perfect example to name just one.

To my way of thinking, its shonky practice and I wrote to both CM and Tatachilla over the example quoted above. CM responded with a load of corporate waffle, Tatachilla didnt bother to respond. The ACCC wasnt interested.

So, I play it safe and dont buy from CM even though they have a money back guarantee. At least when I buy from other retailers, I know what I am MEANT to be getting.

Cheers
Ric





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Posted by: Mark S. Oct 6 2002, 08:12 PM

bought some 1998 Fox Creek shiraz from auction, not knowing it was Cellarmasters [nothing on the bottle to indicate this] Had to contact the winery to get the facts. The wine itself was excellent, rich, varietally distinctive, very long, quite approachable now though some 3 -4 years in it. However, no direct comparison as Fox Creek did not put out a regular shiraz in 1998, just the Reserve & blends.



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Posted by: lantana Oct 10 2002, 10:30 AM

I remember speaking to one of the fellows that worked with CM years ago, at a social engagement. He said that CM were forever sourcing wines that they could label themselves & therefore not have any competition on those items. I'm not sure about established labels such as Fox Creek, but I would hazard a guess that CM approaches wineries & commits to buy an entire vintage of a particular wine, to enable them to have a monopoly on said wine.
I know of a hardware chain (ex Hardware House, now Bunnings), that says if you find the same item cheaper elsewhere, they will beat the competitor's price by 10%. What they don't tell you is that they only stock items that they have exclusivity on. I think CM operate on a similar system, without the 10% discount offer.
TORB brought up the fact that the ACCC wasn't interested, but surely at the very least, this is misrepresentative to the consumer, in which case I would think Dr Fels should dig a little bit deeper into these practices.
lantana



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Posted by: Rodney Oct 10 2002, 07:50 PM

Thanks for the replies.

They seem to reinforce my existing philosophy of being careful about buying from CM. I think I'll stick to the wines that have been independently assessed through the show system or Winestate.

Funnily enough 2 of their wines are in the latest Penguin GWG which I saw after posting my message.

Cheers.



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