Futures & Pre-Arrivals
Why Buy Futures?
If you are new to the world of “En Primeur” fear not, we are happy to guide you through the particulars.
The Bordeaux En Primeur system has been available to consumers since the 1970s, but its roots go back much further than that. For hundreds of years, Bordeaux wholesalers, known as negociants, have purchased their allocations from the châteaux in the Spring after each harvest. This process remained reserved for the trade from the eighteenth century (when negociants bottled the wines themselves) through the 1920s when Baron Philippe de Rothschild began the tradition of properties bottling their wines at the château. It was not until the 1970s that the growth of global demand opened up the process of pre-ordering wines from Bordeaux to consumers and is now available through top wine retailers around the world today.
The top reasons that customers purchase Bordeaux on futures are:
The very best “First Tranche” Pricing
This is the number one reason most people buy “en primeur”. During the summer when the wines are first released on futures, pricing is at the lowest levels you are ever likely to ever see. These introductory offerings represent the châteaux’s absolute lowest pricing. Subsequent releases or “tranches” are offered later from the château at incrementally higher prices which gradually pushes up the market value of the wines as they get closer to delivery. In order to assure that you are getting the best price, it is advisable to place your order as early as possible.
Access to Rare and Limited Wines
Many of the most desirable wines in Bordeaux never actually make it to our retail shelves. From tiny cult properties with miniscule allocations to larger names with limited quantity releases, in a top quality vintage such as 2016, demand often outstrips supply and placing your order on futures is the only way to access some of these wines which will already be sold out by the time they arrive.
A Reliable Investment
Anyone who follows the wine market knows that Bordeaux is a remarkably reliable investment. Virtually all collectible wines gain market value as they age and in top vintages certain wines can double or even triple in value when scarcity or a lofty critic score sends demand through the roof. Appreciation is very consistent and it is rare for an en primeur purchase to lose value. As a baseline, the retail prices for Bordeaux wines average about 30% higher than En Primeur pricing when they physically reach our shelves two years later.
When buying futures, it is important to carefully select the merchant with whom you deal. While other retailers may come and go, Wally’s has been a dependable source for competitive pricing, perfect provenance and guaranteed delivery for over 45 years.
As quoted in Wine Spectator, ‘Buying Futures’: "If you plan to buy futures, you should work only with reputable merchants who