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Past your prime for en primeur

My main, yet to be worked out problem, is how to keep it separate from my own wine. I need for TWS to start having different “pots” like modern banking apps/savings accounts do.


I am 60 but still buy some EP. I have never bought “loads” of EP but now only look to buy wine that will be in its drinking window within the next say 10 years. This is a subject that I have thought about a lot, whether hitting 60 has focused my mind I don’t know. I will probably stop buying EP within the next 2 or 3 years.


I shouldn’t bother. Keep the option to switch/deprive depending on the circumstances.


Same here
I went heavy last year for our 2019 boy and will go again for the 2021 vintage as our second baby is due September .


This is something that more and more concerns me, and the pandemic has if anything focused my thinking given the reminder that we aren’t immortal (though up until my fifties I admit I probably though I was :grinning:).

I can’t quite break the habit but I now wouldn’t buy anything that needs a decade or more to even approach maturity. However I do still buy white burgundies, which I wouldn’t keep much beyond 10 years, and minor red burgundy for medium term consumption. I do buy the occasional vintage champagne EP but that’s about it. No ageworthy Bordeaux or Barolo and very little Rhône of either colours. To make up for this I try and buy already aged wines in smaller quantities (3’s rather than cases) but of course the selection is limited by what has been kept back by merchants.


Snap. I have submitted quite a big Rhone order this year, but mainly relatively early maturing wines, within next 3-5 years, as I had a gap in the cellar for Rhone.

Doubt if I will go for much in the Burgundy EP, except maybe Chablis, as I have a few cases from recent vintages.

Same for Bordeaux. Last vintage I got much there was 2015. Only 1 case of '19, plus a few odd bottles at L&W.

I might get some Italian via L&W as they do single bottles, can’t justify it by the case there.

I agree that many wines, but not all, can be found in back vintages in the secondary market, particularly Bordeaux.


I’m buying EP with a view to leaving some nice wines for my son and daughter to enjoy. Another little something for them to remember me by.


Well, as a millenial, I’m lucky to be able to plan my EP drinking for a decade or so without worrying too much. Unfortunately, I can’t afford the kinds of wines that peak at 20 years old.

I think one factor not discussed here is that many millenials don’t own home storage facilities. I’m luck to live in an victorian house with a old coal cellar.


There is another aspect… I only buy E.P. to secure wines for drinking in the next 2 to 5 years… but would be unavailable (or expensive) once released to the open market. So… Chablis & some grower’s Burgundy (red and white). Never, ever, as an investment / financial vehicle.

There is a crossover here with TWS ‘offers’ - which I use for the same purpose.

Having said that, I have a case in the garage, drinkable 2025 to 2030 onwards Domaine de l’Ile Margaux 2015, their first organic vintage & a good year. I kind of regret buying because expensive once import costs were factored in, and it ain’t that special anyway.


I’m possibly one of the lucky ones then, I joined in 1994 aged 19, proposed by my godfather. One of my first EP purchases was 1996 Haut Bages Liberal. I was 22. At the time it felt like (and was!) a massive massive outlay, but I only drank it about two years ago. It is impossible to say whether that was a good purchase or not, as these days I can just pluck aged bottles out of any number of merchants, especially ‘lesser’ wines. On the other hand I’ve had a pipeline of lovely aged wine for a while now and there is something about having planned that I find very appealing, certainly more so that just splashing out at BBR.


Aha… imagine if (as I and a few others) in the late 1980’s began to appreciate decent wine… Unfortunately a 15.5% interest rate on mortgages, negative equity & general economic crash kinda scuppered any idea of buying anything, let alone wine. But that was then… this is now - possibly a very good time.


Well my wife bought me the most expensive long term birthday present of Wine Soc membership in 1994 and I shortly bought my first EP of 1992 Fonseca port. Lovely when tasted first bottle some I think 18 years later and still have 3 bottles. Buying 2017 EP port was a bit more of a thought but took a hedge bet on me of buying halves.

I have unfortunately have had one friend die aged 53 from cancer last month and another young friend also on a similar life shortening path. I look back and can recall nice days last year drinking wine together in our garden when we were allowed. Not EP but 2009 and 2010 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza. Strangely this has meant I would rather continue buying optimistically but does teach one to at least enjoy some of the old bottles in the cellar building memories earlier rather than later. That at least is a cellar you can always dip into.


I’m still buying EP in my early 70s, but admittedly with a view to earlier drinking. I’m happy to work with a 10-year time horizon - and the knowledge that my children will make good use of anything my wife and I leave.


Difficult one this. Hard to get out of the habit of EP Bordeaux! I did buy 2018 Domaine de Chevalier as it was the best ever tasted going back to the 90s. Also 2018 Léoville Las Cases for the same reason. I guess I’ll do what the French do and drink them when I get them!
I do agree with some of the comments here about knowing when to drink more mature wines. Some Bordeaux 2000s not ready yet (expensive sampling), some years which were disappointing initially are working out now eg 2006, 2011. Had a particularly nice 2011 Domaine de Chevalier last weekend.
I hope my granddaughters like vintage Port…


I really do like that from TWS. The only problem is that as a member you just don’t know what’s going to be listed. Hence if you really want a selection from a particular producer then EP is the only option.
I DO agree on timing though but for some wines it’s still worth watching their progression.


I have a 2004. Should I stick or twist?


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Thanks for the heads up. I will take your advice and force myself to drink it soon. Now what times lunch…


EP makes sense when the producers haven’t sucked up all the middle-ground that is normally reserved for the middleman’s ‘cut’ on the secondary market, and for what price increase collectors are willing to fork out in that market.

So, for instance, Bordeaux has pretty much bridged that gap, and EP only makes sense if you absolutely have to have a particular bottling. Burgundy shows little signs of slowing it’s particular path to oblivion. Piedmont I would say is only a few vintages from saturation point IMHO, but then if it follows the Burgundy rather than Bordeaux model (small production numbers, niche wineries, huge FOMO potential) then it may carry on into the stratosphere.

A case in point of how you can very quickly hit saturation point is the LRA 890 Gran Reserva. ISTR the '95 was about £45 - £50(ish) when shop bought about 15 or so years ago. The '98 and 2001 iterations had reached £65 a few years ago (again, secondary market). The 2004 I got for £65 (taxed, delivered) when bought by the case EP, and then the sudden spike of paying just over £100/ bottle for the 2005 (both IB and secondary markets).

If you look on the secondary market now, you’re looking at close to £100/btle on the 2001 and 2004, but not much significant movement on the original price (case or otherwise) of the 2005. To me (regardless of the relative merits of the wine!) it suggests that if LRA release at over £100/btl for the 2010 (the next in the series), then it would make no sense to buy a case EP, as I doubt the secondary market will stand much of a hike, as it appears to hit a bit of a price ceiling.

I have also been known to be wrong from time to time :smiley:


I started buying good red Bordeaux EP in my late 20s some of which was sold at a good return and the rest I have enjoyed over many years.

However, my last two decades EP purchases through TWS have been ‘daily-drinking’ wines, and I am now reducing them to a very few.
My main reason for stopping is that I can buy the same or similar wines DP when I want them and usually at no more cost when taking into account storage costs. TWS storage is good value but mounts up very rapidly when it is 10-15% of the IB case price per annum.
I also want to keep my cash so I can be more flexible buying from special offers when they crop up.