En Primeur wine tasting – what is it and what is its purpose?


En Primeur wine tasting – what is it and what is its purpose?

In early February an event took place at the Esplanade hotel, Zagreb, called “En primeur tasting of Malvasia, Graševina and Pošip 2015″. It all started four years ago with Malvasia wines (Vinistra), which were later joined by graševina wine  (Riesling Croatica) and pošip (Wine Dalmatia). The idea is to taste young wines of the vintage 2014 and possibly assess their potential. It’s a really very special event because clever and agile restaurateurs, distributors, wine shop and wine bar owners have the opportunity to taste all the young wines in one place and therefore to create (at least a draft of) their wine offer for the coming season. Every year this event brings together a growing number of winemakers which is an indication that Croatian wine scene is developing in the right direction.

What is an en primeur wine tasting?

Basically, the en primeur tasting is organized 6-8 months after harvest in order for potential buyers to taste (and buy!) young wine that is still in barrels, and which will be available for general (public) sale after about 18 months or more (2-3 years). This method of wine trading dates back to Bordeaux, but the practice is now adopted in other wine regions as well. In Croatia, professionals taste young wines that will be available on the market within a month or two because such is our market situation. Indeed, pratice shows that the timing of the release of young wines on the market is a crucial point in regards to sales.  This is because the point is to prepare wines and offer them at the right  moment – when wine lists are created for the upcoming tourist season, which is still the largest demand generator.

What is its general purpose?

The point is to assess the potential of otherwise scarse and expensive wines and to buy them at a much lower price than what they will cost at the moment they hit the market. Such moves are considered an investment, because of a potential increase in price of a wine bottle over years in few thousands (of euros, dollars or pounds). In any case, the customers get their respective wines when winemakers complete the process of vinification. Generally, this “investment” allows winemakers a flexible financial calculations, while they ensure exclusivity and sale. For the big players, this is definitely a win-win situation.

Check out for some En Primeur wines at the best Croatian online Wine shop, Wine&More!