What is En Primeur?

With each enchanting vintage of En Primeur, Cult Wines offers up their analysis. Our yearly reports provides you with an in depth guide to navigating the most unique wine regions in the world.


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What is En Primeur?

We were one of the largest buyers of Bordeaux en primeur last year. Commonly referred to as ‘wine futures’, en primeur essentially refers to the process of buying wine whilst still in barrel, with bottling and physical delivery 2-3 years after the vintage release. Wines can be purchased in different size formats, but Cult Wines only supply en primeur in 75cl bottles (either 3s, 6s or 12s) in original wood casing. 

Prices for en primeur are quoted ex-cellars (LCB, Tilbury), with any delivery and handling charges included. 

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Key Benefits of En Primeur

  • Lowest price – EP typically offers the chance for collectors to get involved at the lowest market offer price.
  • Youngest age – At EP release, the wines are at their youngest age, with the maximum period for maturity and potential growth in value.
  • Security of provenance – when purchasing wines EP, collectors have the added benefit of having wines delivered via the most direct route from the Château, ensuring absolute provenance. 
  • Secondary market buying trend – Traditionally, the secondary market buying trend is for physical stock. This allows collectors to take advantage of EP gains, with stocks that are easily liquidated after physical delivery.


Why invest in En Primeur?

In recent years En Primeur is increasingly being bought for investment purposes. In general, one can secure better prices for En Primeur wines as they are virtually always cheaper than the price of the wine when it is bottled. With the clamour for good vintages, prices of En Primeur wines can increase rapidly, sometimes even double within a matter of weeks. It is a way to secure wines that are difficult to obtain and highly sought after once physical. 

Buying En Primeur does not necessarily mean that prices will increase but if you get involved with the right wines it offers great value and should be considered as part of a diverse wine portfolio. 

The profit margins can be high therefore when purchasing En Primeur there will be several opportunties even before the wine is bottled to take adavantages of price increases and take profit.

How Does It Work?

  • Process starts with the En Primeur tastings at the start of Spring quite sometime before wines are ready to drink.
  • These barrel tastings are assessed and rated by the wine trade and experts.
  • One can purchase En Primeur selections before they are bottled and released to the market while they are still in Bordeaux. All wines are purchased “In Bond” which means the purchase prices are exclusive of Duty and VAT
  • The Chateaux offer some of their production at a lower price than the final bottled product. This wine is released in a series of tranches, typically at higher prices in line with market demand.
  • Wines are typically bottled 18-24 months after release, depending on the estate and length of oak aging.
  • The wine will arrive in our UK bonded warehouse where it will be stored under bond and on the clients behalf. 
  • All En Primeur purchases are Ex-Vat and Ex-Duty. If you choose to have the wines delivered (anywhere in the EU) these taxes become payable.
  • Wines can also be traded as an en primeur contract before physical delivery.

If you are interested in receiving more information about investing in En Primeur or learning more about the process, please contact us.