Merlot Sales Growth Sags - Blame 'Sideways'
He adds though that there is more to the decline in growth than the movie:
But something else could be happening here. Consumers likely are discovering that other red wines have more flavor, especially syrah, which often can be nearly as approachable in texture as merlot.He goes out and tries to find a Merlot that is still going to excite. He was on a Merlot panel at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo International Wine Competition, and didn't find much to shout about. The ones that won the highest honors from them was the Toad Hollow Vineyards 2002 Russian River Valley Richard McDowell Vineyard Reserve Merlot ($16) and the reserve champion Joseph Phelps 2001 Napa Valley Merlot ($40)
In addition, after 15 years of drinking merlot, Americans may be ready to step up to red wines with more complexity and a more tannic spine.
I've had the Phelps...I believe it was part of the tasting seminar I attended with them back in August. Pretty impressive to this uneducated palate.