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Michael Peltier, Senior Fine Wine Specialist at Millesima USA LLC to be added to the Bordeaux Insider list
Futures, sometimes called En Primeur, is a way for anyone to buy the most highly-sought after Bordeaux wines 1-2 years before they are bottled and released on the market. Each spring, thousands of wine professionals visit Bordeaux for the opening of the Futures campaign. Over 150 of the top estates welcome journalists, buyers, importers, retailers and other wine professionals from all over the world to taste barrel samples of the most recent vintage. The prices are then released by the estate and wine merchants are allowed to buy their Futures. However, not just any wine merchant can buy these wines directly from the estates, only those who are registered within the Place de Bordeaux system, such as Millesima, can do so.
Buying wine futures also allows you to buy the most highly demanded wines that may be virtually impossible to find when they are released on the market in a variety of different formats such as half bottles, magnums and larger-sized bottles.
The Futures system was created more than 200 years ago by the British and was only available for the negoce. It is only since the 1980’s that it has been open to private customers. This system enables the estates to sell their wine through allocations before the wine has been bottled. The readily available funds from these sales are then used for operational and production expenses for the next year.
The price of a Futures wine is almost always lower than the release price on the market (around two years later). It is extremely rare that the price of the wine will be lower than the Futures price when they arrive in the United States. Buying wine Futures also allows you to buy the most highly demanded wines that may be virtually impossible to find when they are released on the market in a variety of different formats. Customers can purchase Futures either to cellar and enjoy perfect wine years later, or to invest and resell later at a high price in an auction house. In both cases, customers are looking to gain money on their purchase, either through the difference between the current market price and availability of the wine at the time of the consumption or at the time of the auction.
Unlike any other American wine retailer, Millesima offers their Futures selection in the complete range of obtainable formats – from half-bottles all the way to Melchior (18L). With this unique advantage, customers could potentially be one of the few persons in the world to order that specific size in that specific vintage.
Bordeaux Futures sold by Millesima are exclusively sourced directly from the producing estate in their original wooden case. Millésima S.A., our parent company, is the fifth largest buyer of "Grands Crus Classés” since 1983 on the “Place de Bordeaux.” We have served more than 85,000 private customers in over 100 countries and have more than 2,500,000 bottles aging slowly in our cellars in Bordeaux.
Buying wine futures also allows you to purchase the wines in their original wooden case from the chateau (O.W.C. comes in 6 or 12 bottle cases depending on the estate). The best way to secure an original wooden case with your purchase is to buy your wine as a Future. All the wines delivered from the chateau to us are in their O.W.C. and then will be delivered straight to you.
Futures are usually bought for their prices. The price of a Futures wine is almost always lower than the release price on the market. The prices are generally lower since negociants and retailers are taking thinner margins because they do not have to carry stock and promote the wines. Everyone always wants to make sure to get the better price either to build their collection, invest in wine or simply to buy wines for a special occasion. Indeed, it is quite common to buy Futures in order to get some wine for your anniversary year, your child’s birth year, or even for a special occasion such as retirement, graduations, etc.