Have you ever got your hand slapped for reaching for attempting to reach into the cookie jar just before dinner? Your mother gives you that, "oh, no you didn't" look and you're summarily turned away and made to wait until much later to have the highly coveted fresh baked chocolate chip cookie, if you get to have it at all.
Well grabbing your favorite bottle of Bordeaux can be and often is very similar to obtaining that highly coveted cookie from your youth. However, in the case of Bordeaux Wines you have the opportunity to not only get your hand in the cookie jar, but you can grab the best ones and keep them in a holding pattern until you're ready to have them sent to you directly via the Bordeaux futures program. So if you love a good Bordeaux and who doesn't, than it's high time to get with the program, as many your fellow vino-sapiens have already done.
Since everyone in the vino-universe is lining up to buy Bordeaux upon release, it may be a good time to get ahead of the game by purchasing Bordeaux Futures. Perhaps, you're thinking um what is a wine future? Good question, simply put it's ultimately the most effective method to purchase your favorite
Bordeaux before it hits the shelves of your favorite wine store and your stuck with the left-overs.
How do you know which wine you should buy? This is a great question and one that leaves a huge question mark in the minds of the average vino-sapien. But relax, the answer is easy because wine-critics line-up at En-Primeur to taste and review [give a score] a cross-section of the vintage while they’re still in the barrel, usually a year or two before bottling. So once you know the score, us folks known as the wine-swirling masses [customers] can buy these wines based on these reviews. Once the wine's bottled, it's delivered to you, this way you don't need to spend time searching your favorite wine stores stressing about it being sold out like that proverbial cookie right after dinner in house full of kids.
So now to the "how" part of the equation, how do you as the average vino-sapien make this happen? Great question, there are a number of ways to accomplish this goal of being the first in line to get your favorite bottle of Bordeaux. You may have seen signs at your local vino-slingers store, touting their "futures" program or perhaps some flash-site touting great deals on getting in on their Bordeaux Futures offer. But hey, why not cut out the middle-man and go direct to the source, who has a direct relation-ship with the Chateau, where the wine only changes hands three times, directly from the Chateau to great folks at Millesima-USA and once said wine is bottled and ready to be sent it's delivered directly to your very own Chez-Vino, what could be easier than that?
High-Prices: There is always fear of astronomical prices when purchasing Bordeaux and it's a real concern. I also share that concern, but honestly folks getting in on the futures program is great way to save yourself some coin on wines that will only go up in price after their release. I've had a few examples this year of great BDX selling for under $50 that is drinking rather fabulously at the moment. There are plenty of tasty examples of wine in that category offered through Millesima-USA website. It's worth noting here, that there's an effort afoot by at least one influential critic, "British wine-writer Jancis Robinson has floated the idea on her blog of holding back her scores and individual tasting notes until the Chateaux have released their prices" ~ WSJ.com. This could be a way to help hold prices down to reasonable levels and the impact upon prices related to scores across the board, signaling a significant change.
Regarding prices, availability and bottle formats, frankly they are all over the map and the sky is limit. You really have an incredible selection of Chateau from which to choose, anywhere from a First Growth to solid basic BDX wines that still bring incredible flavor and complexity to the table. The offering of different wines from Millesima-USA is quite good, seems to cut out the middle-man and also offers fine BDX in a variety bottle formats. The larger sizes of course are better for long-term storage, but will not fit in a majority of wine storage units, however this is one of the better benefits of the their futures program and not something you will be able to easily find after the release date.
Other Voices: Okay, so maybe you are on the fence about whether or not to buy futures from the upcoming 2010 vintage, this is a fair question as you don't want to sink you hard earned dollars into the purple-haze of uncertainty. So to allay any fears or ambiguous thoughts on the 2010 vintage, I've rounded up a few reliable sources on the subject, with their various impressions and thoughts on Bordeaux's Vintage 2010.
Jancis Robinson:"Christian Seely, in charge of AXA Millésimes, for whom the jewel in the crown is Ch Pichon Longueville (Baron), also in Pauillac, described the 2010 harvest last Wednesday as 'embarrassingly good' but different from 2009."
The Stout Report: "The 4th vintage of the Decade if you count 2000, 2005, 2009 and now the 2010. Winemakers from St Emilion and Graves to Margaux, thinks they are better than 2009, due primarily, to the acidity."
Robert Parker: World's leading wine-critic, argues that 2010, like 2009 and 2005 may be the “three greatest Bordeaux vintages I have tasted in my career.” Here's a link to his tasting report: RP: Tasting Report
Is there any other doubt that 2010 is going to be absolutely stellar and that you'd be making a smart move by getting your ticket to ride via the futures program offered through Millesima-USA. Just keep in mind that if you do participate in the futures program, you will not see the wine until mid 2013 and said vino most likely will not be ready to be opened for bit longer afterward.
For full-disclosure purposes, this post was written supposedly as a paid advertorial on the subject of "futures" I however was never paid for the work I was contracted for, which has left a bad taste in my mouth. I hope you found this bit of advice helpful and will give their futures program a swirl, until next time sip long and prosper, cheers!