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Wine Spectator School

Course: Bordeaux

Class 1: Bordeaux


Buying Futures or En Primeur

Futures are a lot like buying commodities, with cash laid down now for later delivery of something that doesn't exist as a finished product yet.

Unlike pork bellies, however, futures buyers must wait a relatively long time for their purchase, typically up to two years if the futures are bought soon after they are first offered.

In Bordeaux, the futures market, or en primeur as the French call it, involves the sale of wines that are still aging in barrel in the cellars of their respective châteaus. The initial release takes place in the spring after the vintage, and the prices apply only to the Bordeaux trade, or négociants.

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