En Primeur is a French term for wine sold on a 'futures' basis before being bottled.
The consumer pays the cost of the wine at the time of their order. The wine is shipped up to two years later when the bottled wines are released. At this point it can either be delivered into a special 'in bond' storage account (a customs controlled warehouse where wines are stored without taxes having been paid on them), or directly to the customer, in which case a second 'release payment' to cover duty, VAT and handling costs are paid at the time of shipping.
In March of 2009, Majestic acquired Lay & Wheeler, a specialist fine wine and en primeur merchant with over 150 years experience in trading and storing the world's top wines. We're combining our strengths and buying power to offer Majestic customers all the advantages of Lay & Wheeler's experience, expertise and service.
En Primeur is the ideal way to buy wines you intend to cellar for an extended period. A case of wine also makes an imaginitive gift, especially as a christening gift.
Orders for future en primeur campaigns will be taken via the Lay & Wheeler website, or you can call specialist consultant Adrian Heaven on 01473 313 300 for advice, or to order. To order online you'll need to have registered an account with Lay & Wheeler. This is separate from your Majestic login.
We recommend you store your wines in-bond with our Fine Wine Storage Service, offering storage for just £8.40 per case per year (payable by monthly direct debit), regular communication of drinking dates, and market valuations.
Every spring following the vintage, Bordeaux Cru Classé properties show cask samples of their wines and then release a certain 'tranche' of their total production at a special opening price. Originally these wines were bought up by the Bordeaux brokers or négociants, and only sold on to other markets once the wines were in bottle and ready to drink.
As demand for classified growths has risen so dramatically over recent years, négociants now offer the wines direct for export. Buying 'En Primeur' is probably the only way to secure a sought after wine at a reasonable price.
Burgundy and Rhône
En primeur is an increasingly popular way to source top Burgundy and Rhône wines, especially from smaller quality-conscious producers. Lay & Wheeler's long-standing relationships with such growers allows them to offer an unparalleled range of Burgundy en primeur.
Vintage Port is the most sought-after and most expensive style of Port and yet it accounts for only one per cent of the total Port production. It is the shipper's flagship wine and will only be "declared" if the quality of a single vintage is deemed to be of sufficiently high quality. Lay & Wheeler offers Vintage Ports en primeur whenever a vintage is declared; the last time this happened was the 2007 vintage, which has now shipped. Because it has such a long life, vintage Port is the perfect christening gift.
More information about bonded storage