M&S launches first ever Bordeaux en primeur range with 2014 vintage

Jo Gilbert

M&S has dipped its toe into the claret waters of Bordeaux 2014 for its first ever en primeur from the region.

Having offered Burgundy en premieur for the past ten years, the buying team decided to head to the “birth place of en primeur” for the latest addition to its fine wine range.

The retailer worked with negociant maisons Moieux and Sichel to source the range. 

At tasting in London last night (April 24), the full range of 32 wines from the 2014 were previewed where new MW, buyer Emma Dawson, explained that each are available in cases of six and individually.

M&S were buoyed in their decision to head to Bordeaux, not just because they’ve been selling the Burgundy equivalent for a decade, but also because of the introduction of a rotating parcel system to its fine wine range.

Dawson said: “We’ve seen huge success in our fine wine range since moving to a that sees half the range change every six months, two years ago, with sales growing 15% in that category in the past year.”

“The success of the rotating the wines informed our decision to go after more niche wines,” she added.

M&S are hoping that the chance to buy a bottle of Rothschild’s Chateau Lafite by the bottle – which is the most expensive in the range at £420 – rather than a case of six, will also draw customers. 

Starting at £26 for a Chateau Potensac from the Medoc, the wines will be available to all M&S customers in store and online from May 3. 

A total of 80 selected stores will stock wines from the en primeur range; 20 stores will have the largest selection and a further 60 stores will have a slightly smaller selection of 20 wines.

All of the wines will be available online.

Dawson and fellow buyer Belinda Klenig submitted investment proposals to M&S for the 2014 vintages after previous samplings of various years including 2010 and 2013 failed to make an impression.

The fine wine team then attended the traditional en primeur week in Bordeaux in 2015, where wines from the vintage were tasted from the barrel.

The retailer has invested in a further selection of 2015 wines to release next year and is also looking at the 2016 vintage.

 

 

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