Bordeaux 2022: Buying En Primeur

As with last year, and indeed every year (because it’s important!), I have included some words below regarding the wisdom of buying en primeur. The intention is really to guide and protect newcomers to the system.

In a vintage such as 2022, buying en primeur is certainly worth considering. The quality is undoubtedly there, and with small volumes produced availability of this vintage will be limited, both upon release and into the future. It may well be worth trying to secure your wines now. The issue, as ever, will be price; I expect the wines will be priced more highly than ever. I also expect, however, that there is potential for the price of the wines to rise further in the future. Whether to buy or not depends on the release price, and of course on the size of your budget. This is very different to my conclusion after tasting the 2021 vintage, when my advice was to sit out en primeur and see which wines do well once in bottle.

I thereby present here some advice for those thinking of taking the plunge, especially if you are thinking of buying en primeur for the very first time.

Briefly, buying en primeur is a method for purchasing wine early, in which the latest vintage is offered for sale before the wines have been bottled. You pay for the wine often more than a year in advance of receiving it, in the case of Bordeaux usually about two years. Invitations to buy Bordeaux en primeur appear during the spring following the vintage, once the world’s wine trade and press (including me) have visited the region for to judge the quality of the wines. As already noted, I fourteen days tasting the new wines in order to put together these reports.

When buying en primeur I recommend engaging with one or several known and trustworthy merchants, establish the prices at which you will buy (and, for the expensive wines, the prices at which you won’t). You won’t be able to taste the wines for yourself first, so you will be reliant on the opinions of those who have. Naturally I am hoping you will use my notes as a reference.

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