Put simply, if you buy wine En Primeur, you are buying wines before they are bottled. In Bordeaux the very best wines are not bottled and released for at least 2 years following the harvest, but this does not mean the vintage can’t be bought by investors while still in the barrel. Indeed, buying fine wine in this way can often be the key to achieving the highest returns on your investment.
An example of this potential is the Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2008. We secured for our clients in 2009 a substantial parcel of this wine En Primeur, at first release prices (£1,700.00 per case of 12 bottles). By 2011 the wine was trading at £14,000.00 per case on Liv-ex, before prices inevitably started falling away.
This is of course an exceptional example, and for several years now the release prices on certain investment grade wines have been at an unprecedentedly high level: but it is still possible to secure exceptional wine at an exceptional price buying in this way.
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