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You’ve got to pick a bottle or two


You’ve got to pick a bottle or two

The latest in a line of wine auctions, the Cape Fine and Rare event included a number of collector’s items

Michael Fridjhon

It probably has nothing to do with Covid-19, but suddenly we’re having a bit of a mini wine-auction season. The first such event was the Old Johannesburg Warehouse (OJW) Sale in late April. Quite a lot of the stock offered by OJW is old and visibly unloved, but this doesn’t deter bargain hunters willing to take their chances with not-always-perfect storage conditions. I’ve shopped there over the years and had surprisingly few disappointments, and the satisfaction of picking up some real gems. To know more about upcoming auctions go to oldjwauctioneers.com (https://www.oldjwauctioneers.com/)

It was followed by a lineup from the opposite side of the spectrum: a single-seller sale that opened Strauss’s Johannesburg Live Virtual programme on May 16. Here the wines were some very impressive collectibles for the well-heeled with deep pockets. While there were a few bottles that had clearly been kept too long, most of the lots were properly collectible, though at prices that would have made even the arch-culprits unmasked at the Zondo commission blanch a little before raising a paddle.

The Cape Fine and Rare sale took recently at the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch. It’s an exclusively SA wine sale, a modern incarnation of the Nederburg Auction, which dates back to 1975. I was one of a panel of four judges charged with selecting the wines for inclusion based on inherent quality, maturation potential (or “safe” longevity for the old wines) and “investment potential”...

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