When you buy En Primeur, this means you’re buying a wine before it’s been bottled, straight from the producer. While this system started in Bordeaux, it has now been adopted in Burgundy, the Rhône Valley and Italy.
The benefit of purchasing wines En Primeur means that you can secure a price exclusive of Duty and VAT, which you won’t have to pay until you withdraw them. The wines are usually shipped out from the producers anywhere between eight to 18 months after the vintage, depending on which region they come from. This is because ageing requirements and local laws can differ across different regions.
How does En Primeur work?
Wines that are purchased En Primeur are still with the producer, usually still in casks. When they are ready, the producer will bottle and ship them. When the wines arrive in the UK, they will be stored In Bond, which means that no UK Duty and VAT has been paid on them. (Duty and VAT will only need to be paid when the wines are withdrawn.)
We’ll let you know when your wines arrive, giving you the option to withdraw them and have them delivered to you, store them, or list them for sale with BBX, our fine wine exchange. If you plan to keep them stored in our warehouse, bear in mind that you’ll have to pay a minimum annual charge of £41.40. This will cover the storage charges for the first three 12-bottle cases that you have in your cellar, including cases under beneficial ownership (such as wine bought as a gift in trust for a child). When you withdraw them, the Duty and VAT will need to be paid.
Why buy En Primeur?
If you’re interested in building a collection of fine wine, it makes sense to buy En Primeur. The En Primeur release price is usually the best price for a wine; buying En Primeur is your best chance to secure highly sought-after wines for your collection, especially if they are produced in very small quantities.
There’s also the more personal side to buying En Primeur: investing in a particular producer, and in a particular year, gives you a strong sense of connection with the wine, adding to its appeal. What’s more, you’re supporting the producer now, before they’ve bottled their wines. This lets them invest in their vineyards and winemaking, and in the estate’s long-term future.
What is included in En Primeur prices?
When you buy a wine from us En Primeur the prices quoted are In Bond. This price includes the cost of shipping to our UK warehouses and, subsequently, delivery to you. It also includes insurance: wines are insured at the original invoice value until ownership of the wines passes to you, at which point they are insured at current market prices at the time of loss or damage.
The price you pay for the wine does not include Duty and VAT. You don't need to pay Duty and VAT until the wines are withdrawn from Bond.
How much is the duty and VAT on wine?
£2.23 per 75cl bottle of still wine
£2.86 per 75cl bottle of sparkling wine
£2.98 per 75cl bottle of Port wine
UK VAT is 20% (applied after duty)
Rates are subject to change by the government at any time
Shipping from producer to warehouse
En Primeur wines are usually connected to a specific vintage, with a set closing date for orders. The relevant closing dates will always be included in our specific vintage brochure, or on our website. We’ll indicate an anticipated date by when we expect the vintage to be bottled and shipped to the UK. Exactly when the wines are shipped is down to when the producer thinks they’re ready, so we can't guarantee exact dates.
After your wines are shipped to the UK, they’ll be entered directly into your cellar, In Bond. Once the wines are in the warehouse, we’ll let you know by email. You’ll need to pay a storage charge for every case you keep in our Bonded warehouses, but we won’t charge you initial rent until your account’s cyclical annual rent date.
Other instances of buying wine from abroad
Wines lying abroad (WLA) refers to wine that has been bottled, but is sold at In Bond prices. This means that no UK Duty or VAT is being paid on it, until it’s withdrawn later down the line. When wines are lying abroad, this usually indicates that they’re being stored with the producer, or that they’re being shipped to our warehouses.
Explore our latest En Primeur offers here.