Bordeaux En Primeur 2020
7 May 2021Read more
"When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I'm finished, if the solution is not beautiful I know it's wrong." Buckminster Fuller, architect, design scientist, practical philosopher
Following last year's hastily organised Bordeaux 2019 En Primeur campaign, which was nonetheless extremely successful (albeit frustratingly light on volumes released), we were both unsure and confident when it came to 2020: unsure whether we would be able to get to Bordeaux to taste, and yet confident that a 'remote' campaign complete with multiple tastings could lead to another successful year's activity – as long as the quality and price stacked up. As it has transpired, with the fences well and truly up in the UK, in order to protect and maximise the effectiveness of our COVID-19 vaccination program, and with cases in France and across Europe not yet under control and vaccinations rolling out more slowly, we have endured another 'domestic' EP build up.
As we learned last year, this has advantages and disadvantages. Despite the EP week being genuinely hard work, we all enjoy the week away not just for its regularity of great food and plenty of laughs but for that sense of buzz, of being in the centre of the fine wine world for that one week, and of really getting under the skin of a vintage. But while we miss seeing many of our old friends in the flesh, and the intensity and understanding which comes from tasting 250+ wines in four days, the remote option can allow one to be more circumspect and perhaps dive deeper; extended Zoom calls with winemakers may be less personally satisfying but afford you considerably more time to ask searching questions – and receiving full-size samples in perfect condition just a day or two after they have been bottled enables you to track the progress of the wine over a day or even two, or even more, giving greater insight into what the finished wines may resemble.
So without further ado here are the headlines:
Buying En Primeur is the best way to secure small production or highly sought-after wines which can be very hard to find (or which increase rapidly in value) further down the line
Owning a wine from the very start of its life is extremely beneficial, whether you are planning to drink or sell the wine at a later date
Whether you have a penchant for lunchtime halves or love big bottles for parties and celebrations, buying En Primeur allows you to choose your preferred bottling size