Les Primeurs: What is it?

Apr 25, 2022 | Uncategorised

You must have heard of the primeurs. Especially right now. But do you know what "Primeurs" are? Some think of new wines, others of a specific sales system in Bordeaux. But here everyone is right!

Today, the Ateliers de Bacchus are interested in this article in Les Primeurs and we explain everything you need to know!

Primeurs Wines

Initially, we will be interested in what are called primeur wines or in other words new wines.

We call "Vins Primeurs", young wines intended to be consumed quickly after the harvest. The best known is of course the Beaujolais Nouveau, which is on sale fromthe 3rd Thursday of November. These wines are consumed just after the harvest because the aromas develop quickly and do not keep very well.

The sale en primeurs

Now let's move on to the second definition. When we talk about en primeurs, we are referring to a sales system specific to Bordeaux wines that takes place every year at this time, in April. This year, the week of the primeurs takes place from 25 to 28 April.

This system consists of marketing wines even before its ageing in barrels is completed. It is a kind of reservation: the wine will not be bottled until 18 months later. Many great Bordeaux Château sell their wines in this way to merchants, brokers but also to individuals by organizing tastings of young wines. This makes it possible to present the wines to future customers and journalists. Thus they will already be able to give an opinion on the different wines and in general on the vintage. Of course, the wines tasted at the time of the en primeur sale are only a partial reflection of what the wines will be after the complete ageing.

This system of en primeur sales allows the buyer to obtain renowned wines at reduced prices and resell them at the time of bottling at advantageous prices. This also allows the Château to ensure cash flow for the vintage.

Isthis a market reserved for professionals?

No, individuals can of course benefit from it, but you have to be careful who you buy from.

The origin of this system?

There have always been verbal agreements between traders, producers, brokers… But it was only in the 80s with the arrival of the specialized journalist Robert Parker that things were structured with " the week of the primeurs " at the beginning of April.

From now on, this sales system is exported outside Bordeaux. It is found a little in the vineyards of the Rhône and the Loire. Nevertheless, this sales system remains characteristic of Bordeaux.

And now you know everything about The Primeurs. You will now be able to explain the difference between primeur wines and en primeur sales ! The class.

So you knew this typical Bordeaux sales system? Let us know if you've ever participated!

See you soon for a next article!

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