En primeur scam targets Bordeaux 2009 investors

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  • Thursday 29 April 2010

Bordeaux 2009 investors are being targeted by rogue traders on the Chinese mainland.

Bordeaux 2009

Some private clients have already been conned into paying for top Bordeaux 2009s, even though the chateaux themselves have not yet announced their release prices.

Warnings were issued after Sam Gleave, sales director at merchant Bordeaux Index, found that trade in some yet-to-be-released high-profile wines was already booming.

‘We’ve long had concerns that a vintage like 2009 Bordeaux could result in fraudulent futures trading,’ said Gleave.

‘There’s huge interest in 2009 Bordeaux from China. In an unregulated and uneducated market, there was always potential for rogue trading in en primeur. Unfortunately, it seems as if that potential has been realised.’

Don St Pierre Jr, CEO of ASC Fine Wines Greater China, told decanter.com: ‘Unfortunately, I am not surprised.'

‘Bordeaux Index is right. Because this type of offer is so new to China, there will be more and more of this type of fraudulent activity happening in the market.’

The UK’s Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has issued a series of guidelines for potential investors, saying that fears of fraud have been fuelled by recent police investigations into wine investment funds.

The WSTA says consumers should:

  • Consider the size and reputation of the wine merchant

  • Ask whether they offer guarantees or insurance

  • Check whether prices are competitive and include delivery

  • Ensure that invoices and statements clearly establish your entitlement to the wine

    WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: ‘Bona fide merchants and brokers won’t have any problem proving their credentials, but consumers who ask the right questions will ensure they are not caught out by dubious dealers.’

    Bordeaux 2009: All the coverage

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