One of the jobs I have is to sell wine to private punters, and Bordeaux makes up a large proportion of that. It’s a region I love, from the food, the wine, and producers…everything really, so it’s not really a toughy to be an enthusiastic salesman. But every year, around April/May the primeurs campaign has me struggling. But a recent article in Decanter made me realise I was missing some obvious tricks…
Bordeaux Primeurs is where the Châteaux release some wines for purchase to the general public up to two years before they’re taken out of the barrel and released for consumption. The idea behind it, initially, was that the Châteaux get cash flow to cover the storage costs, and the consumer gets a discounted price. So very much a win-win.
Problem over the years was that the world and his wife tucked into Bordeaux wine as an investment, and the Chateaux realized they could raise the price and still sell the wine. Now the discount is all but gone in most cases. So the win-win theory is waning a bit.
But this week I read an article in Decanter written by a Primeur enthusiast called Colin Hay, with some succinct and well argued reasons on why to keep going and what to look for.
The full article is linked here, but whether buying for investment or for drinking, Colin’s top five points are:
- Look for wines well backed by critics
- Look for wines from Chateaux known to develop well in barrel and bottle
- Look for wines from up and coming properties that are underpriced
- Look for producers with an upward trajectory of quality
- Scarce wines of low production are nearly always sound investments
It’s only obvious when it’s put down in front of you, right? Well put that man, you’ve just renewed my faith!
If you’re interested in seeing Primeurs prices, please get in touch through my sales website for daily updates