I googled Montesquieu today b/c I was feeling increasingly disgruntled with my experience and wanted to express it without having to talk to a saleperson b/c I am very busy and wanted to avoid the hard sell. It was then that I came across this Blog. I don't really believe that they are not legitimate, or a scam, and in fact I have bought some really outstanding wines from them, Chapman Cab, Navarre Can Franc, Atticus Syrah to name a few. But I do think that some of the experiences of the people here reflect the risks involved in buying over the phone from someone you do not know.
The problem I have is that NOT every single wine is "brilliant," "mind blowing," "liquid gold," and that in the end I will be naming my first born (way too late for that one) after my broker. So now when I get a message from my broker, his accolades are immediately suspect, and given some of the clunkers I have recently paid $30 for, the trust has been damaged. I will be interested to see how he responds when we have this discussion. I will reserve judgement until that conversation takes place.
My suspicion, however, is that they get a huge inventory in that they need to unload, and sometimes they unload some junk. I have come to the conclusion that I am safer putting my money in the hands of several local dealers, where I can taste the wine, even though they know my palate quite well and can make really good recommendations. The first broker who worked with me did seem to know my palate. My current guy, while very nice, has seemed to have lost touch. Also, you are safer buying U.S. wines (especially the California wines). They do not do well with French wines, I can heartily state that!