an hospices sunday…


Of-course, there wasn’t just the half-marathon in Beaune this weekend!

The auction, despite sombre reflections dedicated to those who lost their lives in Paris, started with full-blast bidding – over-exuberance? – perhaps. Security was certainly in evidence; without the right pass, or the right name to come to the door to your aid, you were not going to get your foot across entrance – and that’s just the way it has to be. There is a certain type of person that will always cause my blood to boil, and whilst waiting to get through the press door, here was one of them; somebody without any credentials was really pissed that he was being ‘held-up’ at the door – he didn’t seem to give a shit that 130 people died 36 hours before. I don’t care how expensive his shoes were – he was acting like a tosser…

The opening lots were sold for about 40% higher than the (already high) catalogue estimates. I saw barrels of Clos de la Roche going for €110,000 – that’s €375 per bottle – and that’s just to cover the hammer price; add at least 25% to reach the final price per bottle. Still, it’s charity, and it’s a lot cheaper than a Leroy, and (just) maybe the 2015s will indeed be monuments, but for anyone who lives by selling these wines, €600+ will be tough call. Likewise, barrels of Beaune were costing an unheard-of €10,000 – the Savignys not far south of that either.

Then there was the ‘President’s Lot’ – a barrel of Corton-Renardes that sold with a hammer price of €480,000 – I suppose fittingly bought by a (mystery) French buyer, as a portion of the proceeds will go to 3 charities, including the families of the Paris attack. Last year the President’s barrel went for €220,000!

At 8:00pm, when the last lots of Fine de Bourgogne were knocked down for a tenth of the price of the wines, the sale was over. In total the turnover was €11.35 million and the average price per barrel up by 37%. It seems the market is no-longer connected to prices in the auction – or at least we must very-much hope so. By 9:00pm, the chairs had already been cleared from the auditorium and most of the stalls around Place Carnot had been dismantled. Here is the press release from Christies.

By tomorrow evening, Beaune will largely be closed for the rest of the year…

Agree? Disagree? Anything you'd like to add?

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