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In recent years, the global fine wine trade has seen a healthy diversification with Italian and South American wines, however Bordeaux wines still remains the leading region with the largest share of the global market (around 40% by value in 2021, according to Liv-ex).
Bordeaux wines hold the status of the most liquid segment of the fine wine market and are the benchmark in the fine wine world. They also have the lowest volatility amongst all the fine wines (3.77%) as compared to Burgundy or California 50, which have volatility rates of 7% and above (Source: Liv-ex indices 31 Mar 2012 – 31 Mar 2022).
En primeur (EP) is a French wine trade term (lit. meaning “in their prime”) and describes the early life of fine wine when the wine is still kept in barrels and is not bottled yet. It is a kind of futures market for wines that need time in the cellar.
During En primeur, both merchants and vineyards rely on it as a system to go through the process of buying wines before they are bottled and released onto the market.The most popular EP wines are from the renowned French wine regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy.
The system first arose in the wake of the 1855 classification, when Bordeaux negociants (merchants) visited the local or regional chateaux (wine estates) before harvest to buy Cabernet or Merlot grapes straight off the vine.
However, the modern-day EP system was institutionalized in the 1970s with the Bordeaux En Primeur tasting week. It crystallized following the second world war when chateaux simply could not wait until the wine was ready to distribute, in order to generate income.
The opening En Primeur price is almost always considerably cheaper than the future price of the wine on the open market. It can also be the only way to secure wines that are available in very limited quantities.
These wines are shipped 2-3 years after the vintages usually, as they often need to mature in barrels and/or bottles to ferment properly.
En Primeur wines can return a higher profit margin as they are significantly cheaper than the vintage wine bottle when it is finally released. It also gives you the rare chance to own limited-edition Bordeaux or Burgundy wines that are very difficult to get hold of once they enter the market.
Some additional advantages of EP wine are:
Guaranteed provenance – EP buyers are the first ones to own the wines of each vintage. Hence, removing any questions about a wine’s history.
Price advantage – Buying wine ‘futures’ offer a price advantage over waiting to purchase the bottled wines. There are many value opportunities to be found, especially in the current environment of high inflation, where fine wine prices continue to steadily appreciate.
Investment potential – Buyers can find EP wines with strong investment potential only if they choose the right wines to invest in and understand the price positioning of chateaux in this crowded landscape.
EP wines are usually hard to get access to, especially for new investors with little or insignificant invested capital and history. Therefore, the access to EP is very exclusive and investment vehicles like Cult Wines offer it mainly to their most important clients.
Through Konvi, users have the unique opportunity to access a EP fine wine investment portfolio and get their share from €250 only. We’re very excited to bring exclusive investment opportunities to everyone!