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If there were no en primeur

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 假如沒有en primeur

 

After three exceptionally great vintages, there seems to be a slowdown in en primeur market this year. Hit by the economic downturn, the market price of 2008 Bordeaux vintage was decreasing closely to the en primeur price. Another reason is that the wine in this year is less outstanding, so investment buyers have to pay more attention to the risk. After all, I think the wine price in this year will hardly be higher than the previous two years.

 經過三個極好、偉大經典的年份,今年波爾多酒花En Primeur的行情似乎沒有前幾年那麼大鑼大鼓。一來受經濟影響,前陣子的波爾多2008現酒行情一直往下走,有很多酒價都回落到貼近En Primeur初出的價格。二來今年的酒現在來說的確沒有往年那麼頂尖,以投資為主的買家絕對要注意風險了。最簡單,我想今年的酒價不可能比前兩年高吧!

What if there were no en primeur? At the very beginning, selling en primeur was to give improved cash flow for the wineries and reduce their financial burden as it usually takes more than two years to release the wines on the market. Nowadays the big estates are sufficiently funded, selling en primeur is only considered as a tradition, and a specific regional business or marketing strategy. Recently Château Latour announced that they might not be selling any en primeur next year, which resulted in lots of voices from other wineries and the industry. What will Bordeaux en primeur be like in the future?

但如果沒有En Primeur,那會如何呢?當初,En Primeur是為了酒莊的現金流,因為要完成一瓶酒,往往需時兩年以上才出貨,因此期貨賣買可減輕酒莊的負擔。但現在的波爾多大酒莊都資金充裕,En Primeur只是一個傳統,也是一種地區性的生意模式,市場推廣策略。剛剛Château Latour表示可能不再參與En Primeur活動,她這舉動引起了其他酒莊、酒商、酒界的熱烈回響,大家都像在討論波爾多En Primeur的將來。

To consumers, buying en primeur let them purchase good vintages at  a considerably cheaper price, but it only makes sense when the supply is low and the price has potential to rise. Looking back to the first decade of the 21st century, there have been more exceptional and great vintages than ever! That is possibly due to the weather or advanced technologies. We are unlikely to have inferior vintages like 1992 or 1984, so what does this mean? With a massive supply of quality Bordeaux wines on the market, will the wine price be soaring? Unless every winery is as successful as Château Lafite, I suppose.

對於消費者,En Primeur可以提供機會先把好酒以較好的價格買下,留待將來享用,尤其是供應不充裕或價格真的會往上升的情況下才有意義。還顧2000年以來,可能是天氣,也可能是技術不斷進步,我們有越來越多的偉大年份及好年份,仿佛不再有像1992或1984這些差年份,那代表什麼?就是大量的優質波爾多頂級葡萄酒充斥市場,價格有可能像火箭般上升嗎?除非每個酒莊都像Lafite那樣成功吧。

(From May 2012 issue of Cru Magazine, 刊登於《釀.生活》2012年5月號 )