Bordeaux’s Variable Weather
Bordeaux is blessed with a mild climate that avoids extreme temperatures. Moderated by its location next to the Atlantic ocean, its vineyards benefit from warm summers and plentiful sun. In fact, the city of Bordeaux has more total sunshine hours than Biarritz. Winters are cool, rather than cold, and vine-destroying frost is relatively rare.
Bordeaux receives more rain than any other major wine-growing region in France. Its timing can have dramatic effects on flowering, affecting yield, diseases such as rot, and harvest conditions. This frequently-shifting balance between sun and rain results in significant differences between wines from year to year, both in flavour profile and ageing potential.
Demand Changes Between Vintages
Interest in Bordeaux en primeur tastings among buyers and journalists spikes in those years where weather patterns indicate a top-quality vintage is likely. High critics’ scores generate demand among consumers. This further increases interest from the trade. The result is wild swings in pricing and availability of top wines from year to year, with select wines in outstanding vintages appreciating rapidly. In vintages with lesser demand, négociants frequently purchase wines en primeur to hold and sell on at a later date.
Bordeaux En Primeur As An Investment
Buying Bordeaux en primeur guarantees the price of some of the world’s most highly-sought-after wines, which can vary dramatically following release. According to online trading platform Liv-ex’s index of key Bordeaux wines, the 2005 vintage has increased an average of 544% from initial futures pricing – with the top performer, Pétrus, appreciating more than 5000%. (Numbers as of April 4, 2016.)
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