December proved to be a month of solid growth for $20-plus domestic table wines, seeing a 26% increase in sales from December 2010 to $24.7 million in sales, according to Wines & Vines.
The trend ran throughout the year as well, with wines in this price category growing 29% and taking in $191 million.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir were the leading varietals in the $20-plus domestic and imported categories, increasing at the highest rates of the top 10 most popular varietals varietals, 35% and 43%, respectively. Cabernet Sauvignon had the highest 52-week sales at $64.5 million, while Pinot Noir reached $22.4 million.
Reporter Jim Gordon stated that while the growth in sales in this category might suggest a recovery from the recession of 2008, that is simply not the case.
“High-prices recovered immediately in 2009 and then grew to new heights in both 2010 and 2011,” Gordon said.
From Wines & Vines:
“Chardonnay is the second-biggest varietal in dollars at $20-plus, and it grew at a very respectable 18%, while even supposedly boring Merlot went up by 12%. Syrah/Shiraz may be shrinking by double-digits at other price-points, but the high-end wines grew 16% over 52 weeks. Remember red Zinfandel? Its sales were only $7.5 million over 52 weeks, but this was a nice increase of 26%.”