syrahThis report from Wines and Vines shows very healthy growth for all sectors of the wine business over 2014. The only bad news is for Syrah producers:

The past month’s metrics also showed the stark disparity in the performance of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Cab is tops in off-premise, DtC [direct-to-consumer] and even offers by flash resellers. Syrah, meanwhile, is faltering in all those channels—seemingly at an even faster rate than in previous years.

Cabernet is flying of the shelf; Syrah they can’t give away.

What’s up with Syrah? It has lots of flavor, good structure, is age worthy and goes well with the right foods. Sure it’s sometimes too sweet and clunky but that’s true of Cabernet as well.

I’ve heard some people argue that there is too much variation in Syrah from the big fruit bombs that Australia used to produce to the lean and savory gems from the Northern Rhone. But the same is true of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—vastly different expressions depending on where and how it’s made– but they sell well. And those lean and savory gems from the Northern Rhone are out of most people’s price range anyway, so that won’t explain the general demise of this once popular grape.

I understand why Cabernet is popular; I don’t get the unpopularity of Syrah.

Someone ought to spread a rumor that it’s an aphrodisiac.