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Friday 11 April 2014

En primeur Bordeaux 2013: if told it's an investment – it's a scam!

Château Lafite-Rothschild: 

If you get a cold call try to persuade you to buy 2013 Bordeaux en primeur you can be sure that it is a scam. Although there may not be a lot that unites the Bordeaux châteaux, wine critics and wine merchants around the world, all are agreed that 2013 is not a vintage for investment. Made in very difficult conditions, this is a vintage for early drinking not for long storage with the hope that the price will increase significantly over time. As far as 2013 is concerned it won't.  

The UK wine trade appears to have little enthusiasm for selling 2013 Bordeaux en primeur and their customers even less.

So, anyone who tries to persuade you to buy 2013 Bordeaux en primeur as an investment either doesn't know what they are talking about or is a telesales scamster only concerned to separate you from your hard-earned cash!  


  1. Dear Jim

    You said the same about 2007 and 2008, yet prices have gone up since.... in your investdrinks website if I remeber

    yet prices have increased from the release price even on such bad wines

    1. Anon:

      Price of case of Lafite 2008 – 15.6.2010: £7500

      Price of case of Lafite 2008 – 15.4.2014: £5360

  2. Anon. Thanks. Suggest you go and look at the price comparisons on Liv-ex. Here's a link to get you started:

  3. Price of case of lafite 2008 - 15.7.09: £3250

    Price of case of lafite 2008 - 15.7.11: £14750

    I guess it's all in the timing.

  4. ... and selling at the right time.

    Relatively short lived price explosion of Lafite down to the China syndrome – will that ever be repeated? Also a question of assessing which vintages are likely to accrue in value over the long term, which surely rules out 2013.

  5. As anon points out, it is often in the timing. However 2008 was exceptional - released at a very low price and just in time to ride the wave of speculation surrounding the Far East and the 08 vintage. Lafite may have collapsed down to a current price of £5000 but you would still have made a goodly amount if you bought en primeur.

    This however is certainly not the case with 2013. The wines are not being released at 2008 prices, it is nowhere near as good a vintage and the Far East speculative market is no longer in existence. The wine market is in a very different place now.

    Perhaps a more apt comparison would be with 2011 (still a better vintage than 2013). Lafite on release was £4950. Market price is now circa £4200

    2013 may well give some drinking pleasure, but there is absolutely no reason to buy it en primeur and tie your money up for 2 years when it will be available in bottle at the same price or less. It is above all not a vintage for investment.

    The only caveat to this is if the Firsts release at 200e per bt or less, in which case there may be some interest and upward movement. But it would have to be a proper release and not just a tiny tranche with the rest at a much higher price.

    Apologies for the long comment

  6. Paolo. Many thanks and no apology needed for your 'long' comment.

  7. Forgot to point out - there are also large amounts of 2011 and 2012 still in the system - held by negociants as there is no market for them at release price.

    As many negociants will find it difficult to swallow a third poor vintage in a row, you can expect to see these wines being sold at a discount to release prices, driving the market further down.

    And on that note, there are an awful lot of 2010s still held both by negociants and by merchants. Its possible that the market has almost reached its lower limit on these wines, but it may drift yet further down as merchants will need to release the funds tied up in these wines to replace the up-front money normally generated by the en primeur campaign

  8. I bet you there will be a buck to be made on Eglise Clinet 2013. The 2012 is now trading at now trading at £1900+ per dz!! an increase of 25% in 12 months, Id say that was a pretty decent return. It's very naive of you to suggest there will no investment opportunities with the 2013s, as with any investment you just have to know what you are doing.

    1. Agree on eglise clinet ...RFD only 2013 I bought

  9. Anon. You are naturally entitled to your 'anonymous' opinion on my 'naivety' but I have heard enough stories from people who have been cold called and persuaded to buy en primeur with a good chance that they will never see their wines. It may perhaps be that there will be a few exceptions but overall this is clearly not an investment vintage. You can be sure that victims of the current pandemic of scams – wine, graphene, carbon credits, natural rubber, diamonds, gold, brass-plated ostriches etc. will not be offered deals where they will make the sort of money you are suggesting.

  10. Please not Asset Revery i.e. Alexander Goodrich is back on the scene charging 25% of monies he has managed to get back and 5% on sales of stock a whopping 30%

    How about he gets the money back for the land he sold when he was sales manager at English land Partnership and return the 40% commission he recieved

    That would be something

  11. Whilst Eglise Clinet 2012 may have gone up in price, it is still available at £1750 off a release of £1460. Seems like a reasonable return - but you still have to sell it at that price. I note that not a single case has traded on Liv-Ex since release.

    If as a trader, I can buy on the market at £1750, I would offer someone selling it a maximum of £1575. The return no longer looks so good

    I'd also point out that this is mainly off the back of a Parker score of 96-100. I may be wrong but I'll be surprised if anything comes close to scoring that in 2013

    Again 2011 is a better comparison. Eglise Clinet scored 92-95 by Parker (would imagine the 2013 will end up with this kind of score). Released at £1150, available at £1015

  12. Jim, completely agree on the cold calling front, cold calling is evil, anyone offering anything as an investment over the phone should be strung up. All I am saying is that there will be some potential in 2013, you just have to know what you are doing.

    Paolo, 2012 Eglise Clinet hasnt traded on livex because stock holders know it's a cash cow. Nobody would be stupid enough to offer it until Parker releases his in-bottle score. No one in there right mind would sell it to you for £1575. You think 2013 will score the same as 2011? I dont agree but we'll see.

    1. Sorry Jim if we are getting into details here. But I feel its worth bearing out. If only to show how difficult it is to make a case for any kind of investment in this vintage

      Anon - yes people may be holding out on the the 12 Eglise Clinet. But if he scores it 96 then they'll be left looking a little sheepish.

      This isn't an investment, its a punt. The price is entirely dependent on the review of one man. And not hugely different to putting your cash on the 4:15 at Lingfield.

      As for scores on the 2013 - so far Neal Martin 94-96, James Suckling 93-94. I don't imagine it'll be much different to the 2011

      And my point about selling also holds true. The 2012 may have a nominal value of £1750 on the market, but its true value is what you could actually sell it for. And that is not the market value.

    2. Paolo. Thanks. I have absolutely no problem with getting into details here. I just wanted to remind anon that this investdrinks blog is not primarily for the sophisticated investor.

  13. Thanks anon. My investdrinks blog is intended for people who either don't know what they are doing or have a limited amount of knowledge and not for someone who knows the market well and may be able to trade at a profit even in the most unfavourable of years.