The last few Strauss wine auctions have produced remarkable results — some partly predictable because of the absolute rarity of the offerings, others more remarkable because of the lesser rarity of what was on the sale. The 1821 Vin de Constance fetched almost R1m — double the price of a similar bottle at the Cape Fine and Rare Sale in May. Given how few bottles of immaculate provenance remain, it’s safe to presume that the present record will be shattered when something comparable appears in the future.

But more important for the current wine industry are the results of the recent sale of wines from the cellars of three producers, viz Sadie Family, Alheit and Vilafonte. Most of what was on offer was reasonably current: 2019 Columella, 2017 Radio Lazarus (admittedly the last vintage from the ancient vineyard), 2015 Series “C” (these are only “relatively rare” — there are hundreds of cases already in private hands, and probably more than a few still maturing at the cellars).....

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