Founded by Cameron Hughes, de Négoce offers the opportunity to pre-purchase ultra-premium wines from around the globe before they are bottled. Known in the trade as En Primeur or "futures," buying wine prior to bottling allows for pricing at 60 to 80 percent less what you would pay under its original label. Known in the trade as En Primeur or "futures," buying wine before it is bottled allows de Négoce to offer prices at 60 to 80 percent less what you would pay under its original label. By capitalizing on the availability of excess, high-end wine and cutting out layers of middlemen, de Négoce wines are reasonably priced and range from $8 to $25 per bottle. The program is simple: e-mail/text subscribers (15,000 customers and counting!) are notified of new pre-bottling offers with vivid tasting notes, a description of the wine's sourcing and number of cases available. There is a minimum purchase of at least 12 bottles (one case). Once the futures offer is made, the wine is bottled and prepared for shipment.
In the late 1970's, Orson Welles famously appeared in television commercials for Paul Masson wines using the slogan, "We will sell no wine before its time." Hughes is taking a decidedly different approach which, ironically, has de Négoce offering exceptional wines at prices not seen since that era. He is selling wine before its time; de Négoce's futures offerings are shipped shortly after bottling and need several months to get through "bottle shock." And, while the wines available in the bottle shop are drinkable now, Hughes urges people to exercise patience and to cellar them (particularly the big reds) for added bottle bouquet and mid-palate complexity.
Today, de Négoce also launches an online bottle shop where customers can, for the first time, mix and match their own selections of wines that are through bottle shock, have already spent months in bottle, and can be consumed now or cellared for additional aging. "I'm tapping into my decades of wine knowledge and industry connections to deliver the best value possible," says Hughes. "Our customers are relying on de Négoce to not only source smart buys, but to also act as a virtual sommelier, accurately relating the style as well as the nuances of every bottle. Sometimes there may only be a couple of hundred cases available, so buyers have to act quickly. This model is unlike anything else in the business, but I'm keenly aware that it wouldn't work without one crucial ingredient: trust."
Since launching last spring, de Négoce has shipped over 150 unique wines and over 75,000 cases. More than 50 new wines are in the pipeline for 2021, and Hughes anticipates he will sell over 200,000 cases this year.
Post by Emma Anderson / 29 April, 2021