The primeur investment wines as an example
The Bordeaux inhabitants know very little actually about what primeur wines are. It stands to reason that they do know why Bordeaux is so well-known worldwide and also why they cannot afford the great Bordeaux wines !
This said, they do not even know what primeur wines mean, unless they are connoisseurs and have invested some money in wines. As a result and after discussing the issue with many contacts overseas one can realize that very little people abroad know what primeur means and whether such wines are of interest, in terms of wines to drink needless to say to accompany their meals and luncheons but also in terms of investment.
And this is basis of these few lines: to explain what primeur wines are and how you could put some money in to beat the Stock Exchange and the current crisis.
Primeur wines are wines from the most recent harvest, wines that are tasted while they begin their silent life in oak-tree barrels for a period of about 15 months, during which time prices are published by the trade and orders placed in with brokers and estates.
At this point, as we are talking about investing money in wines, it must be said and I hope it will not discourage you, you have to forget about drinking the wines that you will be purchasing..
Forget the idea of uncorking a $500 bottle of red wine to please your guests, as they might even put some water in claiming the wine is “too strong” [this is indeed something that happened to me a few years ago when I was proud to respond to an invite and came along with a very nice bottle of wine and my uncle turned it away..] – so I guess you will make sure about your invites first and direct them properly to connoisseurs and not drinkers !
The second point is that you are here to make money: so, as said above, do not attempt to drink your wines if you ever get them..
The reason is that all the primeur wines you will be purchasing ought to remain with the merchant who sold them to you.
We are now reaching the heart of the whole thing. How can you invest money in wines? This is the procedure I would recommend but is not applicable in North-America since private citizens are not allowed to order wines direct from suppliers overseas but place their orders through the local merchants who in turn will apply to the wine importer having a state licence.
Therefore the procedure below can be worked out by clients in Europe, South-America and Asia.
to choose your wines, check your budget first. Without a budget you cannot do anything ! It is so obvious.. address a broker in France, preferably in the region where you intend to purchase ( broker in Bordeaux or in Burgundy etc..) why would you have to address a wine broker ? The reason is that most chateau wines entrust their entire crop to one or a couple of selected brokers who have instructions and historical data to serve their past clients. However should you wish to address a Great Chateau, do so and be advised they might forward your inquiry on to their dedicated broker. Specify that you want to invest money in wines and ask for their price-list. Once you have made up your mind, request a pro-forma invoice from the broker with the terms of payment required. In general primeur wines are billed as follows: 1/3 upon order, 1/3 three months later, 1/3 three months later, delivery being made 15 or 18 months after the release of prices on the primeur market. This means that you should not be too much impatient in getting your wines [ should you wish to ship them anyway !] as they have to be aged in oak-barrels before bottling. Ask for a complete documentation as to the ownership of the wines, that is giving evidence that said wines are indeed the property of the Estate even though the chateau wines are marketed through their broker(s). Having paid up the chateau invoice, there is nothing else to do than wait until the end of the aging period after which you will be requested to specify what you want to do with your wines. This is the point: either you have the wines shipped to you [I will detail the procedure separately] or have the wines stayed put in the chateau cellars for the moment. The reason is that – you remember it – we said you are investing your money in wines, the ultimate goal would be to make a profit. As a result, you are strongly advised to let the wines stand quietly in the cellars since storage might be preferred compared to your own room, cellar etc.. Assuming that your wines would stand at the chateau for an other 3 years, you will be able to demonstrate a perfect condition of storage at the time you will take the decision to resell your wines. This is essential to guarantee the next Buyer that your wines are in perfect condition. Contrarily, when storing at home, you will have to confirm the perfect condition of your storage when reselling. We will subsequently discuss shipment instructions, the expected return on investment, the procedure to resell your wines and how this can be achieved.
I will close not forgetting to point out that we are not herein discussing the wines but the great, great great great wines !