En Primeur with the National Business Review

Here is my opinion piece about what is En Primeur published in the National Business Review on May 1 2015.

What is En Primeur?

It is also known as Wine Futures, Bordeaux Futures, or, as we like to refer to it, a liquid investment. Glengarry has been offering En Primeur since its first offer in the 1980s of the fabulous 1982 vintage. I have recently returned from Bordeaux where I tasted the 2014 vintage, which is now being offered in New Zealand En Primeur.

En primeur refers to the process of buying wine before it is bottled and released onto the market – usually the wine is delivered two years later.

Originally, only red Bordeaux was sold in this way but, increasingly, wine from Burgundy, California, Rhône, Italy and even New Zealand, is being offered en primeur. However, Glengarry is so renowned for our Bordeaux selections that we prefer to just concentrate on these.

What are the advantages in buying in this way?

There are two significant advantages to purchasing wine en primeur. The first is availability. Some en primeur wine is produced in very limited quantities (a château can produce as little as 200 cases a year for worldwide allocation) and is only available en primeur, that is,they will never reach the open market. Even for en primeur wine that does eventually make it to retail shelves, the quantities available are extremely limited rendering it likely that you will miss out if you do not acquire the wine en primeur.

The second significant advantage is price. The cost savings with en primeur obviously vary with the actual wine concerned from the various châteaux, and a lot depends on the scarcity of the wine.

It must always be remembered that en primeur wine is a rare collectable and once you acquire the wine you have the luxury of retaining it until you are ready to indulge yourself or monitoring the fine wine market and trading your investment to take advantage of price increases to bank a profit or to fund the purchase of new vintages.

How does it work?

The first part of the process is that the châteaux make the barrel samples of wine available for evaluation and review by wine experts and negoçiants; only after this is the wine then offered to us for purchase. Glengarry has longstanding relationships with the best negoçiants in France, relationships that guarantee us the offer and supply of wine that is simply not made available to other merchants. In addition to our relationships with suppliers, we also travel to taste the wines each year to ensure we have our ear to the ground, know firsthand what the wines taste like and can offer you our expert advice.

Once you have requested the wine you want to acquire en primeur, you will need to pay for it but not a full payment up front. Instead payments are made in two installments.

How do you get involved?

You can acquire en primeur wine online at www.enprimeur.co.nz. Once logged in, you can add the wine you are interested in to your wish list and then request that the wine be allocated to you (once available).