En Primeur

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

en primeur, wine trade term, French in origin, for wine sold as futures before being bottled. It comes from the word primeur. En primeur sales are a relatively recent speciality, but not exclusivity, of classed growths by the bordeaux trade (see bordeaux, history). Cask samples of wines have customarily been shown in the spring following the vintage. Thousands of trade and media representatives descend on Bordeaux each spring for carefully organized programmes of tastings. Sales are solicited, through brokers and then négociants, as soon as proprietors decide to announce their opening price and market reaction is keenly monitored by interested parties. A particular property often releases only a certain proportion, or tranche, of its total production, depending on its need for cash and reading of the market.