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July 22, 2013

NYT: Hurricane Sandy causes vintage wine storm

By Spear's

But there was one problem: the cellar was just 100 yards from the Hudson River. And when Hurricane Sandy struck, the water came rushing in

WineCare marketed itself as a high-security cellar that stores, catalogs and cares for 27,000 cases of wine in the basement of a Manhattan warehouse, charging substantial fees to safeguard collections worth tens of millions of dollars.

But there was one problem: the cellar was just 100 yards from the Hudson River. And when Hurricane Sandy struck, the water came rushing in.

Eight months later, WineCare has become the scene of one of the strangest stories to emerge from the storm, a classic Manhattan tale featuring boldfaced names, high-stakes legal battles and top-shelf luxury.

Shortly after the flooding, the owner sent customers a reassuring e-mail: “We believe at least 95% of the wine we are storing is fine.”

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But since then, WineCare, which once offered a same-day delivery service from its warehouse in the Chelsea neighborhood, has steadfastly denied customers access to even a single bottle of Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Kistler chardonnay or Rousseau Chambertin.

Read the full story here

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