Overall, imported table wine depletions have declined by more than 2 million cases in the U.S. since 2013, according to Impact Databank. But that slide masks a strong premiumization trend that has seen above-$10 wines drive momentum in the marketplace. Last year, the total imported table wine category slipped 0.5% to 67 million cases, but imports above $10 grew by 4.5% to 16 million cases. And that number doesn’t include sparklers like the booming Prosecco segment.
Riboli Family Estates’ Stella Rosa, an Italian label with sweet and semisweet taste profiles, crested 1 million cases on 21% growth in 2015, and is now the U.S wine market’s largest import above $10. Hot on its heels is super-premium label Kim Crawford from New Zealand, which will likely pass the 1-million-case mark this year. Of the top 10 imports above $10—a group that’s advanced by a collective 55% since 2011—only Santa Margherita lost ground in 2015, and that was due to its transition to new marketer Santa Margherita USA this past January.
With Italy and New Zealand thriving, it’s no surprise that both countries dominate the top 10 premium imports list. Indeed, Gallo’s Alamos (Argentina) and One True Vine’s Layer Cake (multiple origins) are the only premium imports on the list that aren’t from Italy or New Zealand. In addition to Stella Rosa, Italy’s Roscato, imported by Palm Bay International, crossed half a million cases last year on 45% growth, while New Zealand stalwarts Oyster Bay and Nobilo also continued to climb at impressive double-digit rates.