When the best isn’t good enough

One of the definitions in my Concise Oxford Dictionary of the word ‘premium’ is ‘of best quality. This seems to have escaped those who sell wine. Today, wines touted as ‘premium’ products are usually bog-standard, entry-level fodder.

So what’s above premium? First there was super-premium. Then ultra-premium. Then Icon. This last was a bit of an an unfair tactic in the Premium game, just not cricket etc. And it wasn’t long before people were asking whether Icon was one word or two. So profound thanks to Michael Mondavi for returning to playing by the rules. His new Napa Cabernet, set to be released this autumn, will be called M by Michael Mondavi, and it is to be, wait for it, a super-ultrapremium wine. Has Mr M jumped a category in labelling it thus? Is super-ultrapremium better or worse than ultra-superpremium? Discuss. Oh, and it’ll be $200. A super price. Or maybe an ultra price.

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