That Malcolm Gladwell sure makes you think. His observation in the New Yorker last week “Tyler Cowen, the author of ‘An Economist Gets Lunch,’ argued recently that, out of the dozens of restaurants in Washington, D.C., that aspire to be first class, only five to ten really are at any given time. A restaurant can be great for its first three to six months—as the chefs and the owners strive to make the best possible impression on diners and reviewers” reminded me of a conversation with Anthony Hamilton Russell last month as we were judging ABSA Top Ten Pinotages.
Hammo’s argument was that newbies get coverage by dint of being new while old hands like himself, no matter how stellar, become old hat and languish unremarked upon. But doesn’t a bit of slackness creep into long established brands? Did Klein Constantia ever better those first memorable vintages of Sauvignon Blanc? Fevered rumour has it that big guns Kanonkop and Beyers Truter will be conspicuous by their absence from this year’s ABSA finalists. Replaced by the likes of Jeremy Borg, who has two Painted Wolves in the Top Twenty. Howl!
Can’t wait for the awards lunch at Webersburg to taste the Top Ten to try and retrofit them to my tasting notes. For this tasting is so blind, judges don’t even get a crib sheet at the end to find out how “on message” (or not) they were.