En Primeurs: Bordeaux, Burgundy & The Rhône Valley
Richard Kihl Ltd was one of the first UK merchants to offer wines en primeur. Since 1969, we have been building excellent relationships with the Bordeaux Châteaux and negociants. More recently, we have been growing our relationships with small domaines in Burgundy and the Rhône.
First impressions are of an excellent harvest, both in terms of quality and quantity, an outstanding year for red wines in particular. We visited Burgundy in September for initial tastings, but will be returning in November for a more extensive visit. This year we will be adding to the list of small Burgundy domaines we import direct, you can see a list of them on our 2018 Burgundy En Primeur offer home page here.
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.
You can view our offer of 2017 Northern Rhone wines from Delas Freres here. We expect to offer a selection of 2018 Rhone wines in late autumn 2019.
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 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.