Any pro will tell you that buying top wines from Bordeaux En Primeur, or splashing out while the wine is still in barrel and two years before delivery, is a risk. So you should buy from reliable sources.
The following 20 UK merchants have a strong track record, and could be considered the Premiership as far as En Primeur is concerned, with other candidates in the frame for promotion – see below and feel free to comment. I’ve listed the 20 in rough order of Bordeaux muscle (think allocations), range, prices, services and website. Prices are always quoted In Bond, which excludes Duty at £20+ and VAT on the lot. Check for extras, such as delivery.
For ‘Deal or No Deal?’ updates on wines as prices are released, follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/GavinQuinney
Lay and Wheeler (owned by Majestic)
All the above sell wines as they come on the market, except The Wine Society, who make two large, separate offers in June and July, and £50 membership is required. I have no commercial ties with any, except Private Cellar who have kindly helped us sell some Chateau Bauduc in China.
Plus a few contenders:
Laithwaites, with their famous ‘enthusiastic’ sales copy, head the Direct Wines group of companies, so could run their own mini-League – including Avery’s, Sunday Times Wine Club, Virgin Wines, BA Wine Club. Limited range, & high shipping charges on top (STWC).
From Vineyards Direct (new old boys on the block, strong on ‘affordables’)
OW Loeb (website ‘under construction’)
Jascots (in and out of the game, boosted by signing of David Round MW)
Richard Dawes (new)