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  • Jancis Robinson
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  • Jancis Robinson
16 Apr 2010

The following list may be useful for those of you currently considering making 2009 bordeaux primeur purchases in the UK when the serious prices eventually come out, probably next month or possibly even later - although see Bordeaux 2009 - don't part with a penny! for why you should not part with any money yet. Remember that the wine is well over two years away from being in the state depicted in this image.

Whether or not you are based in the UK, it is worth remembering that there is some very high quality wine storage in the UK, and that you can buy in bond so that if you eventually sell the wine, or ship it to where you wish to drink it, you don't have to get involved in paying UK wine duty or VAT. A substantial proportion of the world's fine wine rests undisturbed for years or even decades in damp cellars and warehouses around the UK, even though its ownership may have changed several times during its stint there. You might also think of storing your Bordeaux purchases in one of the new purpose-built warehouses around Bordeaux such as Bordeaux City Bond or Grand Cru Storage, but of course they tend to use a little more energy to keep the wine at the right temperature than is needed by an underground warehouse.

These are some of Britain's most prominent specialist fine wine traders with links to their websites if they exist (see the directory for their other contact details). I may well have overlooked someone blindingly obvious so please let me know via the Add a comment box at the bottom of the page if you think some other outfit deserves inclusion, but be very wary of new companies, however plausible their names:

Many of the more traditional UK wine merchants also have fine-wine trading and broking arms, often selling the wines they originally sold to one customer, and warehoused for them, to another. They operate in direct competition with the specialist fine-wine traders (who also broke, ie sell, wine on behalf of their customers). Most obvious examples include:

A look at any, or preferably several, of the printed lists and/or websites of these operators will give you a good feel for current market prices. In my experience some traders overprice some items and underprice others (a bit like antique dealers really). The more work you do, the better the deal you're likely to get. Good luck!

And, it hardly needs stating to anyone who knows me, this list is of course compiled completely independently. I know some of the people who work for many of these companies but have no commercial connections with any of them.