Successful South African wine producers are victims of the law of diminishing visibility: wine editorial is driven by new discoveries. You are only interesting when no one knows who you are. Two corollaries flow from this. One is that the better you are at what you do, the less editorial credit you will receive for this. The second relates to competition results and blind-tasting scores: the more readily available the top-rated wines, the less exciting these outcomes appear to be. This reality affects more than the last few blog-spots left for the Cape wine scene: its real knock-on is the retail environment. Newly discovered vinous “rarities” tend to sell out before they get into distribution — so wine merchants, unable to supply them, are often dismissive of their virtues. By the same token, however, specialist retailers also can't afford to be that interested in the long-established and reliable names: after all, these are the wines which land up becoming the promotional items in ...

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