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Buying wines ‘En Primeur’

Buying En Primeur involves buying wines before they have been released - before they are even bottled in most cases - and taking delivery up to two years later when the wines are collected from the Chateaux. They are also known as Wine Futures.

It is not a very complicated process, nor is En Primeur the preserve of the rich and famous, but a method of buying claret relatively cheaply for enjoying in the years to come - open to all comers!

There are three stages to buying En Primeur:

Stage one

You buy the wine as and when the Châteaux release it over the two months or so of the campaign and invoices are payable immediately. The invoices are for the cost of the wine under bond (tax free) in London. Theoretically, it is unlikely that they will ever be available again at lower prices than those first offered.

Stage two

The Classed Growths will be shipped in bottle or Magnum when they are physically released by the Château, in the Spring and early summer three years after the vintage, and will be delivered into a bonded warehouse. You will then be charged storage and insurance at the prevailing rate until such time as you want to take delivery.

Stage three

To take delivery and finally hold the bottles in your hands, you will need to pay the duty on each case and VAT on the original cost of your wine, storage, insurance and, believe it or not, on the duty as well!

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