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How to find the best deals during the ‘En Primeur’ season?

During recent ‘En Primeur’ campaigns great deals on affordable wines with great scores were harder to come by as demand mostly exceeded the offer. To give a few examples, in 2019, wines such as Chateau Malescot-Saint-Exupery in Margaux, or Chateau Pontet Canet in Pauillac, have seen a huge rise in demand due to either great critic scores or, such as for the latter, an important decrease in release price compared to the 2018 one.

As we are all Bordeaux-lovers in the Cru Wine team, we thought we would share how we tend to choose our ‘En-Primeur’ purchases with you and what criteria our decisions are based upon.

  1. Price

When a wine is released ‘En Primeur’, price is usually the first criterion that needs to be considered while on the look-out for the ‘gold nuggets’. Cheaper wines from well-known appellations such as Saint-Estephe or Margaux can represent great buying opportunities – such as Chateau Haut-Marbuzet or Chateau Siran for example. Those wines that are historically not classified as ‘Grand Cru Classe’ will always deliver great value for money and with usually a sufficient offer on the market for you to enjoy.

  1. Wine Critic Scores

As you are all aware, the scores that wine critics from all around the world publish during the EP season are a key criterion to consider when taking purchasing decisions for your cellar – they will influence the fluctuations of price and demand from wine buyers. Critics such as James Suckling, Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator or Jancis Robinson will have a tremendous impact on creating demand for those wines that we consider to be “gems”.

  1. History and Marketing

A great wine can also be a gem if it comes with a little extra background story. It can be a new label made specifically for a certain vintage (For example: Talbot 2018, Margaux 2015…), or even a new grape variety that has been added to the blend after planting new parcels. In some situations, history has its own selling power when you consider wineries such as Grand Puy Lacoste, Lynch Bages or Chateau Carbonnieux that have seen decades and decades of ‘En Primeur’ releases and are known to deliver great wines each year with a coherent price compared to the market. That regularity is something connoisseurs consider when purchasing their annual EP wines.

As the goal of buying ‘En Primeurs’ is also to secure allocations on specific wines at the best prices, we want to highlight that this vintage will probably be a vintage that cannot fulfil everyone’s expectations due to a potential lack of quantity in yields in 2020. Buying EP will be a great opportunity for you to secure those wines while they are still available on the market.

As the ‘En Primeur’ campaign is approaching very quickly, please be aware that the whole of the Cru Wine team will be available to help you make your purchasing decisions. Please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] if you want our team of experts to find specific gems for you on the 2020 vintage.

For us to be able to fulfil all of your requests, we have created a ‘wish-list’ form where you can let us know what your preferences are for the 2020 EP season. To complete the form, please click on this link

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