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En primeur, in bond, or off the shelf: the best ways to buy wines from Bordeaux

With years of storage fees to pay, it’s not often worth buying cheaper varieties en primeur
With years of storage fees to pay, it’s not often worth buying cheaper varieties en primeur Credit: Zoe Barker

Cricket fans can discuss their fantasy England line-ups endlessly, argue about the merits of out-and-out pace bowlers versus spinners, hoover up Wisden statistics and discuss what tactics should be deployed depending on the condition of the pitch. In wine, one region inspires this type of conversation more than any other: and that region is Bordeaux.

“It’s partly to do with the volumes produced,” says Giles Cooper of BI Wines. “Go to Burgundy and a producer is making tiny amounts of several different wines. Someone raves about his lavaux St Jacques, even if you’re quite a burgundy geek maybe you’ve only tried his chambolle-musigny. With bordeaux it’s easier to have an opinion on the wines everyone is talking about, and that makes it so much more enjoyable.”

So true. I love the taste of bordeaux but the potential for audience participation is also a big part of the appeal. I spent a week in...

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