In June’s final instalment here at the Octavian Vaults blog, we take a look at a subject that is never far from the news – that of buying wine “en primeur”. Translated from French as “wine futures”, this is the process of buying fine wines whilst they are still ageing in the barrel, then waiting until they mature into an exquisite product before delivering.
Typically one would receive their “en primeur” wines 2 or 3 years after placing the order, something that began hundreds of years ago from nautical explorers who wanted fine Bordeaux for their voyages.
Guarantee of Provenance
En primeur wines have a fantastic advantage; that collectors receive them directly from the Chateau in question. This all but guarantees perfect provenance.
If you are a keen wine collector or even an investor, then “en primeur” wines will be of particular interest due to their young age. This makes them a prudent investment due to the fact that the potential price increases over time.
En primeur wines typically go for lower prices due to the fact that they haven’t yet matured and no - one really knows how this will pan out. If purchased from a chateau of high calibre, then this is unlikely to be an issue, but there are no guarantees. This makes them low cost compared to other wine investments.
In the majority of instances, the secondary market trend is for actual physical stock. So, collectors and fine wine investors are able to take advantage of en primeur gains.
You can always find out more about en primeur wines and indeed, many other fine wine topics at robertparker.com, the dedicated blog of globally renowned wine critic Robert Parker. Otherwise known as The Wine Advocate, the site is generally accepted as the absolute authority on all things Bordeaux and “en primeur” wines inevitably feature on a regular basis.
Parkers Step Back
Robert Parker Jr actually took a step back from reviewing Bordeaux En Primeur wines a couple of years ago after four decades of being the absolute authority. He handed the reins over to colleague Neal Martin, who may well be the best bet for anyone looking for further information on buying wine “en primeur”.
In an article at Decanter, Parker intimated that it was always the plan for Martin to take over the reviewing of en primeur wines when he was employed back in 2006, so the transition has actually been somewhat seamless.
The final part of our guide to buying wine en primeur is the Octavian Vaults checklist to the process. This may give you some insight into how this complex system works and how you can go about negotiating it as an investor.
As we always say, we can’t teach you taste, or indeed business acumen as a fine wine expert, but hopefully the following pointers can help you to make an informed decision regarding your en primeur wines.
That concludes our guide to en primeur wines and gives you a feel for what this represents in terms of an investment. If you have any questions about this or any other aspect of fine wine storage or cellarage, then just get in touch with our team of specialists.