Events

The 162nd Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction

By billn on November 23, 2022 #annual laurels#events

Last Sunday, the sale of the 162nd edition of the Hospices de Beaune wine auction – the oldest charity wine auction – delivered a total of €31 million including all the auction fees.

The last two years’ sales, which were affected by covid-restrictions and covid-postponements, were but a memory on Sunday as 700 people packed into the sales room in Beaune. Not only was the room full but the telephones were buzzing too – Sotheby’s indicating interest from 30 different countries – interest that endured for the whole 7 hours of the sale.

I could tell you that it was only a modest 8% increase* in the price of a barrel versus last year – but in Hospices de Beaune-land that’s nearly another €3k per barrel – and 20 years ago €3k was the average cost of a barrel at the sale! Of course, this is a charity sale that benefits all the healthcare users in, and around, Beaune and Nuits St.Georges – and so it was a great result for the local hospitals and care homes. The headline amount of the sale was simply a massive record a) because it was a very healthy volume – almost as high as the 2018 ‘record’ volume – but with prices that have doubled since that particular sale.
*But more like 12% if we were to include the ‘star lot’ – the President’s barrel…

This sale included two new cuvées: Corton Grand Cru cuvée Les Renardes, with 13 barrels sold for a combined total of €700,756, and Beaune Blanc 1er cru Clos des Mouches Cuvée Hugues et Louis Bétault with 5 barrels sold for a combined total of €235,440.

If the general market was looking for some softening of burgundy wine pricing – here was not the place to look. The wine merchants of Beaune were caught between a rock and a hard place – of course, happy for the hospital but also asking themselves how they will sell-on the wine from barrels they bought for themselves. Five barrels of Bâtard-Montrachet Cuvée Dames des Flandres sold for €324,000 each, not only more than double the pre-sale high estimate but also a price level usually reserved for the special charity barrel of the auction. In a show of solidarity the wine merchants of Beaune came together to purchase this special barrel – the Pièce des Présidents:

Louis-Fabrice - President's Barrel 2022
Image courtesy of Maison Louis Latour

2022 Pièce des Présidents
The special charity barrel of the 2022 Hospices de Beaune wine sale was sold for €810,000.

This barrel was bought by Maison Louis Latour and Maison Joseph Drouhin, with the support of the FNEB – the Fédération des Négociants-Éleveurs de Grande Bourgogne. The Latour and Drouhin families came together to dedicate this barrel to the memory of Louis-Fabrice Latour who passed away in September. The two families agreed in advance that they would pay €700k for the barrel with the members of the FNEB electing to top up that amount to cover the higher hammer price. The sale proceeds for this barrel always go to charities independent of the local healthcare system, charities which change each year – in 2022 the proceeds will go to the Princesse Margot Charity and the Vision du Monde Charity.

Almost secondary to the spirit of this purchase is the barrel itself: a blend of three of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune’s terroirs on Corton, including Renardes, Bressandes and Chaumes. The cooperage of Maison Louis Latour produced the barrel.

A few stats

The hammer total for the 162nd Hospices de Beaune wine sale was €29,788,500 including the Pièce des Présidents; €28,978,500 excluding the Pièce des Présidents. Vintage 21 and 22 totals (Sotheby’s) include the President’s barrel – the earlier years’ values (Christie’s) are stated without including the President’s barrel. All the figures are ‘net,’ so without the respective auctioneers’ commissions.

VintageSale Total € millionsPrice per barrelNumber of barrels
2005€3.79 million€4,803789
2009€4.99 million€6,250799
2015€11.3 million€18,880575
2016€8.4 million€13,833596
2017€13.5 million€16,657787
2018€13.95 million€16,850828
2019€12.28 million€21,823589
2020€12.76 million€21,677630
2021€11.68 million€33,223352
2022€29.79 million€35,974802

looking for something to do in the côtes – june-july?

By billn on May 18, 2022 #events

The Association of Climats – the body initially in place for the Unesco World Heritage bid and now for continuing events – has released a calendar of events for the summer months of June and July.

If you click on the image (right) you will get the pdf with all the events – only in French – but there are many things that you might find interesting. In fact I find quite a number of them interesting 😉

just a bit of cramp

By billn on May 09, 2022 #events

…but still 24.4 km done today for the team at Bike to Care.

The only real negative (cramp excepted) of this foot-tour through the Côte de Beaune from Santenay in the south to Beaune in the north – the cuverie of Louis Jadot as finishing-line – was the north wind! In the face the whole way! Never cold though, we had almost 24°C and lots of sunshine. The vines looked resplendent – now with 20-30cm, or more, of leafy growth.

The bikers will tackle another 100km stage tomorrow – the Côte de Nuits this time. Me? I’ll be making some domaine visits – and comparing tales of aching legs at the Château de Clos Vougeot tomorrow evening 😉

As it’s not quite over, feel free to contribute at this link!

Santenay to Beaune...

Beaune’s Bike to Care?

By billn on April 26, 2022 #events

Bike to Care

With significant impetus from, it seems, the team at Louis Jadot, there’s a charity event lined up for Beaune on Monday-Tuesday/9-10 May. Two days of teams biking (cycling!) courses in the Côte de Beaune/Hautes Côtes and the Côte de Nuits/Hautes Côtes – both courses approaching 100km, or 60 miles, in length.

As described by the website which supports this initiative:

“Over the course of the past year, our friends in the restaurant business have been living through exceptionally challenging times. In order to thank them for their fidelity to our business, to support them and to stimulate their continued interest in their business, we are launching a dynamic project that we hope will encourage industry solidarity: Bike to Care en Bourgogne

The aim is to raise funds to support the restaurant and hotel trade given their less than productive 2 years during the many covid-related closures and confinements.

Teams of cyclists will be made up of chefs, sommeliers and hoteliers from France and abroad – there is also a section for journalists – though apparently this group seem less energetic and takers were few and far between. In that context Frédéric Barnier of Louis Jadot got in touch with me; I’m no cyclist – my bike has done 10km in the last 5 years! – but I suggested that I could run. Of course, not the full 60 miles – I may be stupid but I’m not that stupid 😉

So, I shall be running the last section of Monday’s Beaune – South Loop – the small matter of Santenay to Beaune – 20km. If, from distance, you’d like to support this event and make a small donation to the cause, I shall be part of the team ‘PARTENAIRES FRANCE’ so please feel free to contribute using this link: PARTENAIRES FRANCE

And, of course, if you are in or around Beaune on that day, feel free to cheer us all along our way
The route is here

clos de vougeot/citeaux auction – and the results were…

By billn on April 25, 2022 #events

Citeaux - Clos de VougeotFollowing on from this report, and tasting here.

And so, on Saturday evening, came the end of the almost week-long auction to benefit the Abbey of Citeaux. The proceeds of the sale totalling totalling €797,750 / $870,000…

The highest prices went to wines – often in large format – that were donated by other domaines for the gala dinner – there was even a little German Riesling on offer – but the prices of the bottles of the Clos de Vougeot were quite strong too – with prices averaging between 400 and 600 Euros per bottle for the 75cls – starting in lots of three and including the buyer’s premium before 6-packs and then larger format bottles. These wines are planned to be bottled in August, this year,

And for the fun of it, the top-ten lots by price, were:

Lot 130: La Tâche 2009 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, 1 Jeroboam, sold for €100,000
Lot 128: Montrachet, The exceptional harvest of 7 Domaines 2016 Montrachet Producers, 1 bottle, sold for €93,750
Lot 127: Clos de Vougeot 2016 Comte Liger-Belair, 1 Jeroboam, sold for €30,000
Lot 126: Clos de Vougeot 1988 Domaine Leroy, 3 bottles, sold for €27,500
Lot 132: Bonnes Mares 2015 Domaine Georges Roumier, 1 Magnum with Experience, sold for €27,500
Lot 133: Chambertin 2009 Domaine Armand Rousseau, 1 Magnum, sold for €23,750
Lot 129: Musigny 2007 Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier, 1 Jeroboam, sold for €23,750
Lot 112: Clos de Vougeot, Cuvée de l’Abbaye de Cîteaux 2020 Clos de Vougeot Producers, 1 Balthazar, sold for €17,500
Lot 135: Musigny Vieilles Vignes and Bonnes Mares 2019 Comte Georges de Vogüé, 2 Magnums with Experience, sold for €13,750
Lot 113: Clos de Vougeot, Cuvée de l’Abbaye de Cîteaux 2020 Clos de Vougeot Producers, 1 Balthazar, sold for €13,750

And that wasn’t the only auction this weekend…

Baghera continues to unearth quantities of René Engel wines, this time 282 bottles and 24 magnums and raising almost as much as the Clos de Vougeot sale.

All here

the charity clos de vougeot for the abbaye de cîteaux

By billn on March 31, 2022 #degustation#events

Chateau du Clos de Vougeot in November 21...

In just over one week – Friday April 8th 2022 – Sotheby’s will commence an online charity auction of wines from Burgundy. The final recipient of these funds will be the Cistercian Abbey of Cîteaux, established in 1098.
sothebys.com/vougeotpourciteaux

The syndicate of producers of Clos de Vougeot and the Fondation du Patrimoine – so a group of domaines in addition to the syndicate – are coming together for this event in order to aid the restoration and conservation of the Définitoire of Cîteaux Abbey in Burgundy. Those additional domaines from up and down the Côte d’Or donating wines (red and white) as additional lots for the auction.

Twenty four* of the syndicate of producers of Clos de Vougeot have donated wine from their 2020 vintage. The elevage of this assembly has been entrusted to Château de la Tour with a planned bottling time in September 2022. There is a little over 2-barrels worth of wine – 570-litres – that has been set aside for this auction.

*Clos de Vougeot Contributors: Domaine d’Ardhuy, Domaine Bouchard Père et Fils, Domaine Capitain-Gagnerot, Domaine Charlopin-Parizot, Domaine du Clos Frantin (Albert Bichot), Domaine Drouhin-Laroze, Maison Dufouleur Frères, Domaine d’Eugenie, Domaine Faiveley, Domaine François Lamarche, Domaine Jacques Prieur, Maison Joseph Drouhin, Maison Louis-Jadot, Domaine Méo-Camuzet, Domaine Michel Noëllat, Domaine Mugneret-Gibourg, Château Philippe le Hardi, Domaine H. Rebourseau, Maison Remoissenet, Domaine René Dubois, Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, Château de la Tour, Domaine de la Vougeraie.
Contributors of other lots: Domaine Marquis d’Angerville, Domaine du Comte Armand, Domaine Bitouzet-Prieur, Domaine Henri Boillot, Domaine Bonneau du Martray, Domaine Dujac, Domaine des Hospices de Beaune, Domaine Kloster Eberbach, Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Domaine des Lambrays, Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Leroy, Château de Vosne Romanée – Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Domaine Jacques Frédéric Mugnier, Domaine de la Romanée Conti, Domaine Emmanuel Rouget, Domaine Georges Roumier, Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Taupenot-Merme, Domaine Comte George de Vogüé.

In addition, on Saturday, April 23rd 2022, there will be a charity dinner in the Château du Clos de Vougeot – which includes a tour of the Abbaye de Cîteaux – tickets for this 5-course charity dinner are available online and cost €228 per person. The internet auction will close during this dinner. Honourary guests will include the Abbot of Cîteaux, Father Pierre-André Burton, Aubert de Villaine, and Guillaume Poitrinal who is the president of the Fondation du Patrimoine – plus, of course, multiple winegrowers who are supporting this project. Arnaud Orsel of the Tastevinage, headquartered in the Château du Clos de Vougeot makes the following comment “Seat of the Climats de Bourgogne World Heritage Site, the Château du Clos de Vougeot was owned and occupied by the monks for more than seven hundred years. It was only natural then to put our savoir-faire at the service of Cîteaux Abbey by conceiving, organizing and hosting this charity auction which will take place in the Great Cistercian Cellar.

The wine…

A label has been designed for this cuvée that amply highlights the link to the Abbey of Cîteaux – done with pure-gold elements that are redolent of the old texts and manuscripts of the monks. The label is the work of artisan caligrapher Christelle Sordel – and took her over 80 hours to complete the original artwork.

Clos de Vougeot 2020 Cuvée Cîteaux

2020 Clos de Vougeot, Cuvée de l’Abbaye de Cîteaux
Tasted today. Only 13.5°, which is modest for 2020, likewise there’s plenty of colour but this is far from saturated. Hmm, that‘s a sophisticated nose – wide, faintly oak-spiced and saline with some implied silk to the aroma – still, it’s a little tighter in the higher tones as there’s no obvious floral component here – today. In the recent run of warmer vintages, you can forget the old chestnut of ‘austere Clos de Vougeot;‘ this wine is framed by the most modest of tannin – über-fine-grained – and whilst this tannin modifies the texture so that it becomes more velvet in textural style, this tannin has no dryness. Balanced, with fine width of flavour, delivered in layers – some oak complexity here for sure. A wine that’s neither overtly vibrant nor mineral but soothing, complex and certainly well-concentrated, like the nose, there remains impressive sophistication. Not an obviously grand vin today but with more elevage to come, it is still a very good, potentially excellent, grand cru – and with zero faults. Almost too tasty for young CV!

In French you may see some of the scope of the rennovation:

Well-done to the Saint Vincent…

By billn on March 21, 2022 #events#the market

After 4 years of preparation, multiple adaptations for health requirements, and despite the economic and geopolitical context, the collective effort of organisers from Blagny, Corpeau & Puligny-Montrachet delivered a great 78th Saint-Vincent Tournante. Given the later than intended start, it also seems that these guests enjoyed better weather than anyone can remember. The organisers have announced that they had welcomed around 50,000 visitors, including 17,000 tasters. Bravo!

As announced by the Grand Master of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin: ‘See you for the 79th Saint-Vincent Tournate in 2023 in Couchey!

61st Hospices de Nuits Auction

By billn on March 20, 2022 #events

Hospices de NuitsMarch 20, 2022 in the Château de Clos de Vougeot – the 61st wine auction of the Hospices de Nuits

The wine auction of Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges can be considered the little sister of the famous Hospices de Beaune auction but that still didn’t stop the auction buyers on Sunday from following recent events in Beaune by setting their own new records for the wines of the 2021 vintage. Just like its equivalent in Beaune, this 12-hectare Nuits domaine auctions wine for the benefit of their local hospital and retirement homes.

For this 61st edition of the wine auction, and for the very first time, total bids exceeded 2 million euros. At €2,486 million (excluding auction costs) this total was up by almost 30% compared to last year’s auction of wines from the 2020 vintage – which had totalled €1.9 million euros. We shouldn’t overlook the fact that last year there were 114 barrels for sale – this year there was a further, modest, reduction to 109 barrels: The 2020 crop had been reduced in volume by the semi-drought conditions of the summer, whereas the 2021 vintage by the April frosts and then having to contain mildew in the early summer – both vintages were described as roughly ‘half-harvests.’

Like the Pièce des Presidents barrel in the Hospices de Beaune wine auction, the Hospices de Nuits also offer a special barrel for the benefit of a chosen charity. This barrel was sold for 41,460 euros – a little down on the 49,380 euros paid for the equivalent lot last year – this year to benefit APF France Handicap, ‘an organisation both for supporting and defending the rights of people with disabilities.

This year’s average price per barrel reached a new record of 22,481 euros for the reds – which was a year-on-year increase of almost 35% – and 58,000 euros for the only barrel of white, which more than double the price in 2021.

next weekend’s saint-vincent…

By billn on March 12, 2022 #events

Pulignacious-Montrachet, Corpeau-Montrachet and Blagny-Montrachet are slowly bracing themselves for next week’s, long-delayed, Tournante Saint Vincent 2021.

Already the difference between Friday and Saturday was obvious in Puligny with more ‘decorations’ visible.

Today, we lunched at Auberge du Vieux Vigneron in Corpeau and so could extract a few stats from Jean Charles Fagot:

  • There are 35,000 tickets sold – so these people get access to the special cuvées of the St.Vincent, amongst other things. But if the weather is kind, they are hoping for more than 80,000 visitors!
  • To assuage the thirst of these 35k ticket-holders wait 17,000 bottles of the St.Vincent cuvées…
  • And just to make sure that your olfactory senses are fully functional you may, from some distance, note Jean Charles’ two stalls selling snails. He’s anticipating selling 3,000 dozen of them! – I asked how much garlic that would require – and he just laughed…

Enjoy if you are going! – www.saint-vincent-tournante-2021.com

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