June 22, 2023|In News

What is 'En Primeur'? Demystifying Bordeaux - the Pantheon of World Class Wines

In Light of the 2022 En Primeur Vintage

“The Miraculous 2022 Vintage”,

“It’s astonishing. Nothing is out of balance”,

“It sets a new benchmark for Bordeaux”,

“This is a vintage of remarkable concentration, energy & harmony”.

The wine sages have spoken and they are buzzing about Bordeaux’s 2022 vintage… And our man on the ground, D&N founder, Puneet has joined in the exaltation upon his recent return from the Nirvana of Fine Wine – En Primeur week in Bordeaux. He was suitably awed by the sheer quality & calibre of the 2022 wines he tasted and excitedly wants to share his suggested best Bordeaux buys with us.

Bordeaux Report 2023 - Day 1: Visit 3

Puneet’s En Primeur Bordeaux Tour: Day 1

Every year, thousands descend upon Bordeaux for "Crazy Week" to sample the latest wines produced out of the region and Puneet was there to report on the 2022 vintage...

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Bordeaux Report 2023 - Day 2: Visit 11

Puneet’s En Primeur Bordeaux Tour: Day 2

Puneet's trip through the Bordeaux region continues as he takes part in Day 2 of "Crazy Week" and reports back on the 2022 vintages...

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Bordeaux Report 2023 - Day 3: Visit 24

Puneet’s En Primeur Bordeaux Tour: Day 3

"Crazy Week" through the Bordeaux region continues, as Puneet reports back on his third day sampling the latest drops produced...

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Puneet’s En Primeur Bordeaux Tour: Day 4

The final day of "Crazy Week" in Bordeux, as Puneet reports back on his fourth day sampling the latest drops from the region...

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D&N as trusted stockists of a darn Fine & Rare portfolio of collectible vinous gems, knows that Puneet’s experience and first-hand knowledge will save collectors time and money, and for the uninitiated, halt a descent into some rabbit holes with eye-wateringly high price tags!

As you know, in our blogs, we love to indulge in a bit of wine geek talk – not to be exclusionary or elitist but rather to share valuable info which will hopefully empower yourselves & newbies alike to understand the world of wine even better!

“Bordeaux en Primeur: the Tinder of Fine Wine.”
Wine Anorak

Let’s decode what En Primeur really means to us, the drinkers:

Firstly, Bordeaux En Primeur week is an annual Spring pilgrimage when over 6,000 international wine professionals and trade folk head to the fine wine capital of the world to try barrel samples of the new vintage. Industry members are all eager to discover the potential of the latest vintage, that was harvested the previous September.

Secondly, the actual term ‘En primeur’ to buy the wine can be compared to a type of “wine futures”. It allows you to purchase wines early while the wine is still in the barrel. This offers you the opportunity to invest before the wine is bottled & at the point of greatest availability of top Bordeaux. Notably, En Primeur sales are limited to a few prestigious properties, most of which enjoy Grand Cru Classé or similar status. This equates to approximately two hundred labels.

By investing in these brand new vintages, you get first pick – and incredible value – before bottles hit the open market. It’s an incredible way of starting your own private fine wine collection – all kept & nurtured in the best possible conditions at the Châteaux, until they’re released 18 to 24 months later. By the way, remember, once your wine is shipped, D&N has optimal Chiller Storage Facilities available if required. Read more here.

The En Primeur pricing is ultimately dictated by the quality of the vintage plus supply versus demand! And the 2022 vintage is looking extremely good but sadly, supply is down. Then worldwide demand after the Covid years is expected to hit a high again.

En Primeurs do have an influence on the “reference prices” for the new vintage presented over the course of the barrel tastings week. Prices are generally set within two months of En Primeur week. Industry members from around the world have been able to form an opinion about the quality of the vintage to be released, based on scores & reviews during the various tastings.

Depending on the critics’ assessments, & numerous other factors, the châteaux then release for sale a portion of their total production at an opening price. This is sold in strict allocation to wine brokers (the négociants) in Bordeaux. The négociants then sell the En Primeur offers on allocation around the globe.

What are the advantages of buying wines En Primeur?

Let’s be honest… the En Primeur system is based on speculation. Buyers take a chance by banking on the increased value of the wine when it is bottled two years later. At stake is the buyers’ ability to detect the initial signs of a top wine very early on in the maturation phase. Here’s where eagle-eyed & sharp-palate Puneet comes in ….

You can trust Puneet to sniff out the best bottles & will tailor-make your collection specifically to your tasting desires & interests. Expertly curated to perfection.

With Puneet’s professional guidance, you’ll have a selection of top notch, age-worthy & exceptional Bordeaux bottles to enjoy for years to come or even possibly to do a bit of Liv-Ex trading. It can also be the only way in NZ to secure wines that are available in extremely limited quantities.

Fortunately, D&N has access to highly prized Grands Crus Classés whose prices will undoubtedly soar when they are released into the open market. It is estimated that savings of more than 30% can be made compared with the price tag on a bottled wine.

“When wine is rare, supply limited and demand high, the sensible choice is to acquire it whilst supply is at its greatest”
Decanter Magazine

When you’ve got blue-chip Bordeaux producers from a stellar vintage like 2022, then the value-for-dollar of buying En Primeur is a no-brainer for any savvy connoisseur, collector, or someone ready to have their palate horizons expanded.

The 2022 Bordeaux are wines that you must find room for—in your budget and in your cellar. Our allocation comes and goes each year in the blink of an eye, so strike while the iron’s hot!