En Primeurs: Bordeaux, Burgundy & The Rhône Valley
Richard Kihl Ltd has been buying and selling wine en primeur since 1969. Over time we have built up excellent relationships with the Châteaux and the long-established negociants in Bordeaux, as well as domaines both large and small in Burgundy and the Rhône.
Our 2018 Bordeaux En Primeur offer is now live, with each new wine added immediately upon release. Early impressions are that some exceptional wines have been made, with the best equaling or surpassing great vintages like 2010 and 2016, but without the homogeneity of those years. This means tasting and careful selection will be important. Challenging and dramatic weather in the first half of the year were followed by some excellent conditions at harvest, a roller coaster ride for the Châteaux but one which should produce some thrilling wines.
Burgundy 2017 En Primeur
Our first tastings of the 2017 Burgundy vintage from cask took place during November in London and the Cote d'Or. On first acquaintance, these are delicious wines which practically leap out of the glass and demand to be enjoyed.
Despite a recurrence of the severe frosts in April which devastated many vineyards in 2016, a unified response from growers (using burning straw bales to mitigate the worst effects) saved the vintage. A good sized harvest was particularly welcome after 2016, with 2017 equaling 2009 in volume. A hot summer brought high yields, with some rain in August and at harvest time hydrating the vines. Picking dates, as is often the case, were a key determinant in quality, with rains around harvest time a factor.
The whites have plenty of generous fruit which is will be very approachable whilst the wines are young. The reds have the edge, with the same vibrant fruit character and a supple tannic structure. Pleasingly, both reds and whites delineated their terroirs beautifully, showing the classic hallmarks of each village, 1er Cru or Grand Cru site.
The challenge for wine writers and the trade will be to persuade you that drinkability does not (in this case) equate with any lack of seriousness or potential longevity. These may be wines to drink "while you're waiting for your 2015s and 16s", but they also have their own bright future ahead of them.
You can view our opening offers here:
Rhône 2017 En Primeur
You can view our offer of 2017 Northern Rhone wines from Delas Freres here.
Why Buy En Primeur?
Buying wine en primeur, or as ‘futures’, means to buy while a wine is still in barrel at the chateau or domaine, before it is bottled and shipped to the UK. Payment for the wine is requested at the time of order and this will include the cost of shipment to the UK once the wine is bottled.
The time-scale varies from region to region, but in the case of Bordeaux, the wine is normally shipped in the third year following the vintage. Only at this point do the duty, VAT and any onward delivery charges become payable. Alternatively these may be further deferred by the customer opting to store the wines ‘in bond’, (see Delivery and Storage).
The main advantages of buying en primeur are as follows:
- Securing a highly-sought-after wine which may subsequently disappear from the market completely.
- Securing a wine at the ‘opening price’, below which it is unlikely to fall and the price of which may later escalate.
- Having the wine bottled in formats other than 75cl, (eg. halves, magnums, double-magnums etc.) according to your requirements.
- Guaranteeing the precise provenance of a bottle of wine all the way from chateau to dinner table.
The obvious risk associated with buying en primeur is dealing with a company that, having taken your money, may not be in a position to deliver 3 years later. By buying from Richard Kihl Ltd, with a long-proven track record in the business, you can be 100% confident of receiving your wine.