Five Reasons to Buy Wine Futures

Five Reasons to Buy Wine Futures

barrel sample wine futuresThe en primeur system, also known as wine futures, is a unique feature of the Bordeaux wine market. Each spring, wine professionals from all over the world descend on Bordeaux to taste the previous fall’s wines. These wines are still aging in barrel, and won’t be bottled and released to the market for two to three more years. However, the young wine still provides a snapshot of what the vintage will look like when it’s complete. After the tastings are finished, the estates release their prices and wine merchants can buy the wine futures.

The Benefit of Buying Wine Futures

  1. Access: Buying wine futures allows you to purchase the most sought-after wines that may be virtually impossible to find when they are released on the market
  2. Availability: Buyers can choose from a much wider range of châteaux and appellations than is generally available for retail purchase.
  3. Format: Wines can be purchased in several bottle formats, from half-bottles (375 mL) to double magnums (3 liters) and even bigger bottles. These rare and highly-prized large formats are ideal for aging and are often not available for sale when the wine reaches the market.
  4. Provenance: When purchased though the right channels, the wine’s origins should be directly traceable to the château’s cellars. This ensures it has been kept in ideal storage conditions and enhances resale value.
  5. Price: Buying as futures locks in a price early on. Buyers avoid the uncertainty and shifting prices that often come with highly-rated vintages and top-scoring wines.

Wine Futures and the “Place de Bordeaux”

The “Place de Bordeaux” is a system of commerce developed over the city’s long history of international wine sales. Chateaux work with brokers, known as courtiers, who organize sales to wine merchants (négociants). Only the 300 wine négociants who make up the “Place de Bordeaux” are authorized to buy wine futures. Everyone else in turn buys from these merchants.

Where to Buy Bordeaux Wine Futures

Wines can pass through many hands before reaching the final buyer. Each step adds to the potential for damage from improper storage or handling. Millesima purchases our wines directly from the chateaux and delivers directly to the consumer, ensuring impeccable provenance.


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