En Primeur, also known as Wine Futures, refers to the process of buying wine before it’s bottled and released onto the market. Wines can only be purchased by the unmixed case and are usually delivered 2-3 years after the vintage.
What is en primeur?
En Primeur, also known as Wine Futures, refers to the process of buying wine before it’s bottled and released onto the market. Wines can only be purchased by the unmixed case and are usually delivered 2-3 years after the vintage. En Primeur involves purchasing the wine, in Bordeaux's case through the usual channels of courtiers and négociants, in the spring following the harvest and before the wine is bottled. The wine producers offer some of their production at a lower price than that for the final bottled product. The wines most commonly offered en primeur are from Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Rhône Valley and Port, although other regions are adopting the practice.
When this first release (tranche) is exhausted the châteaux may offer another tranche, usually at a higher price based on market demand. The wines are shipped approximately two years after the vintage.
Once they have landed, you can choose to store them in a bonded warehouse, such as Berry Bros. & Rudd, or have them delivered. Prices for en primeur wines are always quoted exclusive of duty and VAT. These taxes only become payable once the wine is withdrawn from a bonded warehouse.
Why buy en primeur?
Getting what should be the best price for the wine; nearly always be less than the future price on the open market. En Primeur works to everyone's advantage in highly desirable vintages (1982, 1990, 1996, 2000, 2003, 2005 ) but in lesser years, prices for the wines once bottled may not offer any significant advantage over en primeur. However, allocations of the most sought-after wines are based on the level of support that négociants give for every vintage.
In vintages of high demand, consumers can get a guaranteed supply of the wines they want, in whatever format (halves, bottles, magnums etc) they desire. Such wines may have very limited quantities and be difficult to obtain after they are released.
No hidden costs
Our En Primeur prices exclude VAT and Duty but do include shipping from Bordeaux to our UK Warehouse AND then onwards to your door within mainland UK.
Other merchants may charge you as much as £17 per case extra for shipping, handling, warehousing charges AND then delivery to your door.
We strongly advise customers to be aware of this when comparing prices.
En primeur wines are shipped in the coming years, so it is of the utmost importance to buy en-primeur from merchants of sound financial standing.
Berry Bros. & Rudd have been successfully trading for more than 300 years, and we are the largest buyers of Cru Classé Bordeaux in the UK.
Berry Bros. & Rudd has won numerous trade distinctions on the International Wine Challenge, including coveted awards such as 2014 Specialist Merchant for En Primeur, 2014 Large Independent Wine Merchant, 2013 Specialist Merchant of the Year for Rhône & Spain, 2011 Bordeaux Specialist of the Year, 2009 Wine Merchant of the Year.