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It was no pretty picture that had been painted before we headed out to Bordeaux to try the much maligned 2013 vintage earlier this week. The press have not been scared to jump on the usual band-wagon before any wine had even been tasted, reporting that 2013 was a tricky growing season for Bordeaux. A fact that,rather unusually, the majority of the Chateaux owners have not been afraid to admit to also.

'With this type of vintage, nature reminds you that she's the boss in the end, you know you won't make the vintage of the Century’ said Olivier Berrouet, head of winemaking and vineyards at Petrus.

While consultant Stephane Derenoncourt told 'It was a war against nature, and it's very difficult to win.'

Tasting at a Negociant

We must remember though, that at the time they were released, 2002 & 2007 were considered poor vintages. Now however, many respected critics are praising those vintages as a joy to drink. It could be another 10 years before the 2005’s are fulfilling their promise, while it is vintages like 2013 that will sooner rather than later provide pleasure. If 2013’s are released somewhere lower than 2011 & 2012, and the wine made our list (or your preferred critic’s list), then it will certainly be worth looking at. We should not judge a wine by its vintage, and that is an important thing to remember.

Even a poor vintage does not have to mean it will be a poor En Primeur campaign. Especially if the pricing is correct.


The 3 key reasons for buying En Primeur:

  • To obtain a better price for investing your money in a product that is not physically available another 2 years.
  • To obtain future allocations. (Particularly useful in vintages such as this, where demand will not be as great).
  • To get the formats you like (Halves; Magnums & Double Magnums etc.). 

The new barrel room (Chai) at Montrose

The truth is that for the private customer, En Primeur is an exciting time in the calendar – as it gives the consumer an opportunity to purchase the wines they want at a cut price, in return for their early investment. We, the UK wine trade, would love to be involved in the trading of Bordeaux. Traditionally the strongest & most revered of all wine producing regions, it is with great hope that the Chateaux in Bordeaux price this campaign to work.

A couple of releases already have hinted that the campaign may not go the way we would like, but it’s too early to call yet, and we remain hopeful of some prices that will make sense to the consumer to come back to Bordeaux En Primeur.

One thing that does need to be understood however is that as long as there are cheaper vintages readily available in bottle, more expensive Primeurs will not sell.

One of our favourites: Calon Segur

But, let’s not write off the 2013 Bordeaux campaign just yet. It’s difficult to call a particular region, or a left/ right bank vintage, every appellation has produced some lovely wines, just not very many of them. Some of the Chateaux may well surprise us with their pricing – there were some very good wines produced, and if you’re not bothered about which vintage is on the label, and you’re more concerned with the quality in the bottle – provided the prices are right, these would be our Our Picks



Calon Segur (& it’s cheaper stable mate, Capbern Gasqueton)

Cos d’Estournel

Pape Clement


Domaine de Chevalier

Leoville Las-Cases

Pavillon Rouge de Margaux

l’Eglise Clinet

Grand Puy Lacoste


Very Good

Mouton Rothschild

Pontet Canet

Sociando Mallet

Leoville Barton

Langoa Barton


Rauzan Segla

Chapelle d’Ausone

Saint Pierre


Domaine de Chevalier

Haut Batailley





Petit l’Eglise


Of course, we haven’t tasted all of the wines that Bordeaux has to offer, and the above only applies to the top 150 or so Chateaux in Bordeaux. The remaining 90% of Chateaux will have found the vintage very difficult without the expensive harvesting teams and sorting equipment.

If you would like to be kept informed on any particular Chateaux during the campaign, please do let us know. Our regular updates will be going out throghout the course of the campaign: If you would prefer not to receive these, please do let us know.

Full list of 2013 En Primeur wines (populated on release of those wines we recommend)


cellars of cos estournel.jpg

Why buy from us?

Two very good reasons. Firstly, we are better priced than all of the big, well known merchants. Secondly, we have allocations to give to you. We are growing quickly and as such, our allocations from Bordeaux grow as well. We are primarily wholesalers – dealing with the majority of the UK wine trade. As such, we don’t have a database of thousands of private customers. Therefore, we might well be able to offer you an allocation of the sought after wines – an allocation that you can then keep throughout the years. A fantastic opportunity that you won’t easily find with other fine wine traders.


Is it safe?

Apart from price and availability, this is the most important aspect in selecting your En Primeur merchant. Make sure you buy from a reputable company and do your homework. Ditton Wine Traders only buy from very well known, reputable Negociants. We sell to the majority of the trade in London, including En Primeur, and have never failed to deliver. We are middle sized, financially sound fine wine traders that have been trading since 2004. Ask for references, they will confirm that buying En Primeur from us is safe. And if you can rest assured that your order will be delivered to you, why pay more than necessary?


How to buy?

Please contact us to discuss your wish list. It helps us secure what you want and you will be the first we offer to. Otherwise, subscribe to our blog and email offers so we can help you to select and purchase. Or just go to the Full list of 2013 En Primeur wines.



We advise to have your wine professionally stored, in a bonded warehouse, unless you intend to drink them in the short term. There are various options. It is quite straightforward to open up your own account in a bonded warehouse. See here for some that we work with and can recommend. Rates do vary so shop around. Alternatively, we are happy to assist you with your own, personal account at London City Bond. We can offer trade rates which are basically half of what you would pay for a private account. Please get in touch if you would like to know more.

Our en primeur prices include delivery from France, insurance and all costs to receive the wine into our warehouse. They are under bond prices, excluding duty and VAT which will be payable only if wines are later taken out of bond. There are NO storage charges for en primeur wines, until they are physically received. We will charge delivery at cost should you wish to have your wine delivered to your own bonded account or home address. We will contact all our customers on arrival of wines in the UK to obtain storage or delivery instructions.

If you think you might buy during the campaign, do sign up for our email offers – it’s the best way to closely follow the campaign, spot the best deals and secure an allocation. Don’t forget to follow our blog and news. You can of course also phone us:

020 833 99 112
Make sure to check our blog for updates and do follow @DittonWineTrade on Twitter. It will allow you to stay on top of breaking news and releases, often before it's available anywhere else. Search (and use) #bdx13 to see who else is tweeting about Bordeaux 2013. Or just phone us if that's too geeky for you.

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