I have written before about en primeur here. If you are not sure about what en primeur means – here is a description straight from our website:
‘Sometimes buying wine en primeur is called investing in wine futures, so to avoid any confusion we’d like to briefly explain what this actually means and why you might invest.
Put simply, en primeur is a method of purchasing wines early i.e. while the wine is still in the barrel. Therefore, people have an opportunity to buy the wine before it is bottled.
Why do this? Well, first of all, the wines may be considerably cheaper before it is matured and bottled and secondly, if the wine is only available in small quantities, it is one way of securing an allocation.
The caveat of buying wine from the barrel (en primeur), however, is that it is not a guarantee that the wine will increase in value. Therein lies one good reason for consulting experts such as us.’
En Primeur and Covid 19
Unfortunately, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, we haven’t been able to visit Bordeaux for the annual en primeur tastings.
Before Covid, I personally had travelled and tasted 20 vintages in a row and was sorely disappointed by not travelling to taste the last two vintages.
The team did manage a few select, sample tastings of 2019’s via zoom but it really isn’t the same. For the 2020 vintage, we managed to virtually taste a wider selection of wines, also via zoom!
Despite our inability to travel, the Bordeaux En Primeur system showed how strong and resilient it is. Both the 2019 and 2020 vintages were the strongest campaigns we have had in our 25-year history of selling Bordeaux En Primeur.
Why am I writing about this topic again, now? We have been invited over, next week, to visit some old and new friends in their Chateaux to taste the en primeur 2021 vintage.
Getting Back to the Business of Tasting
So, with travel restrictions being eased, we are delighted to be going back to Bordeaux. Towards the end of April is when the world’s wine trade descends on Bordeaux for the Union Des Grands Crus de Bordeaux (UGC), organised group tastings. This is when you get to taste each commune’s wine in one specific Chateau.
As I mentioned we are not travelling until next week. This is one week later than the official “En Primeur” tastings.
The Green Acres wine team prefer it this way, to be honest. We get to taste at specific Chateaux, so the conditions are ideal, as we are far from the madding crowd, so to speak. We also taste the wines that are, we feel, more suitable to our clientele and therefore more beneficial for us.
Although the specific wine tastings are much more time consuming and palate demanding, the advantage is that you get the undivided attention of the winemakers during your visit.
It also provides you with a clearer picture of the wines and the growing conditions for the year.
Plus, you get to feel the mood of the Chateau and how confident they are of their final product.
We have a busy 4 full days ahead of us, we will taste hundreds of wines from Petrus, Lafleur, Le Pin, all first growths, and the important wines on both Left Bank and Right Bank. All over Bordeaux, we get to sample some of the more iconic and sought-after wines that are much in demand. We will return after our short trip with a very clear picture of Bordeaux, en primeur 2021.
If you would like to know more about buying en primeur, or just to discuss en primeur 2021, contact James, Donal or Patrick here in Green Acres and you can avail of our years of experience and knowledge.
À bientôt - Donal