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How to take your first steps in buying wine 'en primeur'

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Wine maturing in barrels'En Primeur' or 'Futures' is a term used to describe buying wine before it is bottled. For some prestigious wine estates (particularly in Bordeaux and Burgundy), demand is so high that wineries can sell their wines while it is still maturing in barrel, ensuring customers can secure the wines they want. How does it work? You buy the wine whilst it is still maturing in the cellars, and then pay the duty (currently just under £23 a case), VAT and delivery when the wine is shipped to the UK. Buying En Primeur can (sometimes!) be an investment or it can just be a fun way to try new wines not freely available in the market place. As En Primeur is usually offered on wines for which there is a high market demand and limited availability, the opening price for En Primeur is usually the best price - some wines can increase in value after the first offer but, like all investments, this is not a guaranteed result. What are the advantages of buying En Primeur? 1.    You can save money by buying the wine early in the production process. 2.    There is a possibility that you can sell the wine on for a profit in the future. 3.    You only pay a deposit upfront, the duty and VAT is payable only when the wine has been shipped to us in the UK. 4.    You have access to wines that are likely to be limited in availability. If you fancy taking your first step into En Primeur, Adnams Fine Wine Manager Rob Chase has some wines available for you. Why not give him a call on 01502 727270 (Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday) and he can give you some advice. En primeur wines are available to suit all budgets and tastes.

Rob ChaseRob Chase’s latest En Primeur Offers

Rhône “It struck me that when I drank the last bottle of my great 1978 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, how lucky Adnams is to be offered an annual allocation of this highly sought-after Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This is a wine that benefits from 7 years' cellaring and, in great vintages, up to 30 years. I am just about to secure an allocation of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe 2011 – a year that the winemakers (the Brunier brothers) have likened to the 1985 (which is currently drinking beautifully), with its fresh, floral and mineral nose. It is at the same time ample, ripe, lingering and silky, with amazing tannins. It has the natural ripeness of the southern Rhône, but without the intensity of the 2009 and 2010. If you would like to put your name down for a case (or two) for drinking from 2018 onwards, or for giving to a deserving young relation, the price is £335 per dozen En Primeur, with Duty and VAT to be paid when shipped next Autumn. Please give me a call - 01502 727270. Burgundy Counting our good fortune at being offered iconic wines continues, with our recently received allocation of top Meursault-producer Dominique Lafon’s Mâcon wines. Dominique has been selling us his remarkable Meursaults for thirty-odd years. We have seen his production increase in quality - his wines are now biodynamic - as well as in quantity –  he has increased his vineyard holding over the past decade. Winemaker Caroline Gon treats the wines to a mixture of new oak, as well as second and third year barrels and even older 'foudres' (casks, which are larger wooden barrels). Together Caroline and Dominique conjure up the most exceptional Chardonnays – which are best enjoyed after 24 months in bottle. Now available on our web site, or over the telephone, from as little as £120 En Primeur for a dozen bottles of his Mâcon Milly-Lamartine. (Duty and Vat will be charged next spring, 2013).” If you'd like to find out more about buying wines En Primeur, please give Rob a call on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays on 01502 727270, or send him an email:


Sarah Groves