Hospices de Beaune : The oldest wine charity sale in the world

The 161st Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction reached € 12.6 million, a historic vintage for the oldest charity auction in the world. New Record Price for Charity Barrel: The ‘Pièce des Présidents’

On November 21, 2021 the 161st Hôspices de Beaune wine was conducted. The previous sales event has been postponed and all events have been cancelled, wine lovers have been looking forward to the day. Despite of currant scenario the city was filled with tourist and wine lovers carrying a glass of wine, and the auction room was filled with chaos with wine buyers from France and non-European.

Due to the weather conditions the harvest was historically short in quantity, just 349 barrels, barely half of last year, are being auctioned. Ludivine Griveau, oenologist at the Hospices explains: “Due to the frost in April, as well as the rain until mid August, we only had 14 hl / ha of harvest, unlike 30, 35hl the usual years. So we need a lot more work and be very precise, we had to sort out three times” The result was good. The quality of the 2021 vintage is remarkable. It is true that this is not the vintage of the century, nor the vintage for collection and to keep, but the aromas on the nose are extremely delicate, small red fruits, its soft and have fine tannin, the reds express well the typicities of the Pinot Noir grape variety which evokes the old Burgundy of the years. 70 or 80. As for the whites, they are racy with deep and complex acidity while keeping their freshness sharp. The 2021 vintage is the authentic Bourgogne. With the success of the vinification and the rarity of the vintage in small quantities, the auction prices soared from the first batches. The average selling price per barrel is € 30,209.00 in red (+ 59%
/ 2020) and € 48,635.00 in white (+102%). President’s Room sale which made the room most exciting when two comedian actors, Pio Marmaï and Jeanne Balibar, the godfather and the godmother sparked with lively atmosphere in the the room and boosted the bidders. The hammer blow was struck at € 800,000.00 for this Corton Renardes Grand Cru. This sale broke all records. On the other hand, the total auction of 11,678,000.00 € is down 9% compared to the previous year due to the number of smaller casks. The special feature of this year is that the price of the Grand Cru has increased slightly by 10 to 30% compared to the previous year, while the communal appellations and the relatively unknown appellations such as Savigny-les-Beaune have climbed by almost twice.

“The prices of the Grands Crus seem to have reached their peak. They referred to other affordable AOCs”, analyzed by Alberic Bichot, the president of Albert Bichot house, which is the highest bidder of the Hospices with 17% of the total auction. He specifies “The abnormal prices of 2021 were too high with small harvests. The average price per barrel will drop next year. However, Hospices wines are likely to become a big brand like DRC for example, and overall prices will continue to increase in the future.”

Usually, the prices of the Hospices are not reflected in the Bourgogne wine market. This time, they seem to be linked. “Bulk prices for Chablis, heavily damaged by frost, have already increased 10 times more than last year. Burgundy wines are highly sought after in the world of wine market and usually out of stock. The price of wines from the 2021 vintage could increase by 60%”

by Yukiko Kumata

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