The 60th anniversary of the Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges Wine Auction takes place this Sunday, March 14th, in Burgundy, France.
The event will take place at 2:30 p.m. within the grand cellar of Château du Clos de Vougeot and will be streamed live.
‘The auction is strictly limited to 150 people this year, previous between 300 and 350 attended,’ explained Aymeric de Clouet, a wine expert who organizes auctions in Burgundy. ‘Entrants must be registered to attend in person. Social distancing will be required, although in Clos de Vougeot, we have plenty of space.’
Last year’s sales totaled approximately $1.9 million (€1,614,500), a 10% increase from the year before, even though the number of barrels had decreased due to Covid-19 complications. Wine is mostly sold per pièce—or per 228-liter barrel. Last year one such pièce (Premier Cru ‘Les-Saint-Georges’—Domaine Georges Faiveley) sold for a record €24,000 (approximately $28,500, at today’s conversion rate).
A total of 114 barrels are up for auction—112 of red wine and two of white, and for the first time, you can purchase bottles.
Auction proceeds are charitable. The auction is linked to the new Saint Laurent Hospital, which was completed in 2018. However, the history of this hospital spans centuries. The hospices will also donate profits from one barrel of wine—Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Saint-Georges—to the Pasteur Institute.
This year that particular wine is made not from the berries of both young and older vines, but exclusively from older vines of some 70 years. The 12-hectare Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges wine estate is part of the hospital, and has its own operating budget. It employs four vineyard workers full time and produces six ‘village’ appellation wines and nine Premier Crus.
‘The …estate and winery are physically linked to our hospital and, every day, they see the twin fruits of their work: the pieces of wine sold at auction and their new Saint Laurent Hospital,’ explained the Hospices director François Poher.
The event has gained popularity – last year the number of buyers had increased 50% since the previous year, and the average price per barrel increased 34% from 2019.
The auction generates local pride in a region salient throughout the world for producing quality vintages.
Overall, the 2020 vintage—which has been named the vintage of confirmation—is what is known as a grand millésime, according to Jean-Marc Moran, Technical Director for the Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges Estate. This means a great vintage—one where wines include complexity, notably rich aromas and well-structured and balanced tannins. According to Moran, the 2020 vintage is more structured than the 2019, and more balanced than the 2015 vintage.
‘The main difference with the 2020 vintage is its balance of acidity with alcohol,’ de Clouet added.
All wines are aged in new oak from three different barrel producers. Altogether, these Pinot Noirs are supple with low-key tannins, an excellent acidity/alcohol balance and tastes of plush, rich fruit underlain at times with subtle minerality. This is a well-structured, velvety vintage that provides a rich, creamy mouth feel.
Practical information to watch the wine auction live: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85605191718?pwd=dldpWmN4bTlTZjRvdzBZQVlOMjJwdz09
Meeting ID: 856 0519 1718 –
Code : 170437
To purchase bottles:
Auction House Live:
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