En Primeur is a French wine trade term for wine which is sold as a 'future' i.e. buying of wines at its initial offering price when they are still in barrels, before it is ready to be bottled and delivered.
After the harvesting around September-October and carrying out the usual fermentation, Châteaus will invite members of the international wine trade to taste and assess these wines around March in the year following the harvest. Châteaus will release a strict allocation of their total production at a pegged price to négociants (wine brokers), who then releases these wine to wine merchants around the world.
The wine merchants will then offer the wines to its customers with the promise that wines will be delivered at a later date but at a fixed price now. Customers will also need to pay other charges including shipping cost, freight insurance and duty charge.
Ratings are released! It's an overall glowing verdict. Here's what critics had to say about this outstanding vintage.
"After two weeks in Bordeaux tasting more than 1,100 wines from the 2018 vintage, I can tell you that 2018 is an exceptional year for Bordeaux wines....I really didn’t expect the 2018 to turn out to be such an exceptional year but the wines it produced are beautiful. And apparently, most of the winemakers knew they had an excellent quality vintage by the end of the summer." -James Suckling
"Bordeaux 2018 will be remembered as an exceptional year, with no shortage of outstanding wines from this extraordinary vintage. For the reds, if there's one vintage this century that growers can, hand-on-heart, say that they could pick and choose their harvest dates 'à la carte', it's 2018." -Jancis Robinson MW
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WS = Wine Spectator, WA =Wine Advocate, JS = James Suckling, AG = Antonio Galloni