[Photo courtesy of Préfet et des services de l’Etat en région Bourgogne-Franche-Comté et en Côte-d’Or/Twitter]
Some measure of normalcy returned to the world of French wine this weekend. The delayed Hospice de Beaune Auction finally happened… and Burgundy’s most coveted wines continued to soar in price.
On December 13, the legendary event raised €13,438,700 ($13,438,700) for the French Federation of Hospital Workers by auctioning off 630 barrels of the good juice. That figure represented a high second only to the 2018 (which actually featured one more barrel than this year).
For the uninitiated, the Hospice de Beaune Auction is an annual benefit featuring some very high end Burgundys. The event is traditionally held during the third weekend of November and is followed by La Paulée de Meursault, a raucous lunch with winemakers. Think of La Paulée as the ultimate BYOB event, mixing producers and oenophiles all attempting to one-up each other with the bottles they bring.
The 2020 eschewed the social elements due to COVID risks. Only a small group of individuals attended the actual event; most buyers placed bids over the phone. Despite the remote aspect, the evening was a clear success.
“This year marks the 160th Hospices de Beaune sale. The auction does not just symbolize our rich heritage, but the most needed proceeds will greatly benefit our local hospital and those affected by Covid-19 within our community,” explained François Poher, Director and Chairman of the Board of the Hospices Civils de Beaune.
630 barrels were placed on the block. The lots included 50 different cuvées, 33 red and 17 white. However, the clear showpiece was the record shattering ‘Pièce des Présidents’. The lot featured a Clos de la Roche in a special barrel coopered from Domaine de Chambord Estate oak. A lucky buyer took that home for €660,000.
According to HdB, other record breaking offerings were Bâtard Montrachet Grand Cru cuvée ‘Dames des Flandres’; Echézeaux Grand Cru cuvée ‘Jean-Luc Bissey’; Corton Blanc Grand Cru cuvée ‘Docteur Peste’; Corton Grand Cru ‘Docteur Peste’; Clos de la Roche cuvée ‘Cyrot-Chaudron’; Corton Grand Cru cuvée ‘Charlotte Dumay’; Pommard Grand Cru – Les Epenots cuvée ‘Dom Goblet’; Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru cuvée ‘Collignon’; Meursault Premier Cru – Les Genevrières cuvée ‘Philippe le Bon.’