Thanks for the post. Yes, Premier Cru is a hop topic on wine boards all over the Internet theses days. Clearly, they deserve criticism for their slow delivery and worse communication.
And if those suits are as claimed, that's a big problem for them as well. But just because one person, or person files a suit, does not meant their complaint is the truth, or the full story.
On the Internet today, there are two common posters writing about John Fox and Premier Cru, related to their on going wine business. On one side of the coin, you have numerous customers that have all reported receiving their wine, often at low prices, much lower than any other retailer or auction has offered to sell those same wines before. Those customers were forced to wait longer than they should have. Months and often years. But the wines arrived the overwhelming vast majority of the time. The few wines they did not arrive, those customers were offered replacement value or more for their unfilled wine order. Those customer out number the anti Premier Cru posters.
On the other side of the coin regarding the ongoing business of Premier Cru and John Fox, you have a small core of the same posters again and again that are quite loud. Those posters seem to either have never been customers of Premier Cru, are no longer costumers of Premier Cru, or worse, are other wine stores that are in direct competition with Premier Cru. I get it. They have difficulties selling the same wine, when it is available at Premier Cru for less money. Regardless, that is a big conflict of interest for them to discuss their competition.
In my own opinion, I do not care how John Fox and Premier Cru obtains my wine, nor where they buy it from etc, etc. What I do care about is that they deliver my wine. I have had to wait longer than I should have been forced to wait for delivery on more occasions than I like. But I paid a low price, much less than I would have had to pay for a timely delivery. I am OK with that personally. I prefer saving money. The goal is to pay less and buy more,, or better wine. It is not to pay more money. I have been buying from John Fox and Premier Cru since 2000. That is almost a 16 year track record. So for me that works.
I have friends that do not want to wait for deliveries. So, for them, discounts are not worth the aggravation.
You also asked about the gray market. The gray market helps the consumer most of the time. Gray market wines are simply wines that were bought and wold that did not go through the licensed importer. For wines with an exclusivity, for example. DRC, Guigal La La's, Petrus, Chapoutier, Coche Dury and always going to be much cheaper when they are gray marketed. because the true importer does not get all the markup. We live in a capitalistic world and price matters. I want to pay less money for wine, not more money. Importers want to make more money, not less. I get it.
Bottom line, should Premier Cru manage to settle their litigation issues, and I believe and hope they do, wine buying consumers are that prefer low prices, coupled with aggravation, will continue to buy wine from John Fox an Premier Cru.
Please feel free to ask me any other question you like. I am more than open on the topic. You or others are welcome to reply.