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Low Bordeaux en primeur sales sink UK merchant

Weaker consumer demand for Bordeaux en primeur wines from recent vintages has forced UK-based merchant En Primeur Ltd into liquidation, with an estimated deficit running into six figures.

Bordeaux 2013 en primeur wines laid out for critics and journalists during the official tasting week earlier this year

Crawley-based En Primeur Ltd, founded by sole director Marco Correia in September 2006 to specialise in Bordeaux en primeur, has gone into voluntary liquidation.

Insolvency practitioner Abbott Fielding, of Sidcup, is likely to be appointed as liquidator.

Nedim Ailyan, of Abbott Fielding, said it would be wrong to compare the company’s plight with a spate of bogus wine investment firms going under in the UK in the past year.

‘I have seen a lot of crooks in my time,’ he told Decanter.com. ‘En Primeur Ltd is very different. It is a tragic collapse. The bottom fell out of the en primeur market. We don’t yet know the precise deficit but it will be six figures.’

Ailyan added, ‘This was very much a one-man company and certainly not one of the boiler room operations.’

After the high prices achieved by Bordeaux en primeur wines from the acclaimed 2009 and 2010 vintages, the market endured more sedate en primeur campaigns for the 2011 and 2012 wines. This year’s campaign for the weather-hit 2013 vintage was one of the smallest for more than a decade at several merchants.

Comparing En Primeur Ltd’s September 2010 accounts with those of 2012 offers some insight into the company’s collapse. Net assets in 2010 were £93,000. By 2012 this surplus had been transformed into a deficit of £254,696.

A creditors’ meeting is fixed for 16 July at the Bexleyheath Marriott Hotel.

Written by Jim Budd

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