MICHAEL FRIDJHON: Bacon versus eggs: why fine wines should be hogging the limelight
Trendy new tipples may be whipping up attention, but nothing beats the commitment poured into solid, well-crafted vintages
The world of fine Cape wine is divided between the newly fashionable and the well-established. The former are generally also “recently discovered”, which means the very fact of newness sometimes counts for more than the usual attributes of value such as track record, older vintages, aged wine stocks. Where novelty is the primary consideration, brands generally have a very short shelf life. The wines need to be made, “discovered”, sold and consumed almost instantaneously. This means — for the producer (usually a rock-star winemaker with a market lifespan as bright and short-lived as a celestial supernova) — very few hard assets: no vineyards, often not even a cellar, no route to market other than momentary incandescence. Occasionally those who triumph on this side of the spectrum are able to migrate to the more formal sector. This can only happen when their innovation is something of real substance, not a trick but rather a repeatable process or strategy. Their challenge is to trans...