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Hospices de Beaune 2014: New white wine added to auction

A new cuvee of white wine from Beaune has been added to the auction list at the upcoming Hospices de Beaune auction, providing a 'small but welcome' boost to the overall total number of lots for sale, up 20% compared to last year.

Hospices de Beaune 2014: New white wine added to auction to boost volumes

Despite extensive hail damage in June decimating vineyards and reducing crops across Beaune, Pommard, Volnay and Meursault by half or more, this year’s Hospices de Beaune auction will see an increase of lots for sale from 2013 including, for the first time, the new premier cru wine Cuvee Suzanne et Raymond.

The wine comes from a plot of land originally planted with Pinot Noir grapes earmarked for the Beaune Cuvee Cyrot-Chaudron, but uprooted and replanted with Chardonnay grapes in 2010. It is named after the two benefactors, the Cyrot-Chaudron couple, who originally donated the vineyard in 1979.

Speaking about the addition Christie’s consultant Anthony Hanson MW, who will be overseeing the auction, said ‘there are just six barrels of the new wine, so this certainly helps, volume-wise’. Of the style, he said ‘it has rich fruit with a round texture and crisp finish’.

The 2014 auction, now in its 154th year, will see 47 different cuvees auctioned-off, of which 33 are red and 14 white. They will comprise 417 barrels of red wine and 117 barrels of white, forming a total of 534 barrels.

Roland Masse, vineyard-manager and wine-maker Domaine des Hospices de Beaune, said overall production was affected by losses in Meaursault and Beaune but the grands crus of Montrachet, Corton and the Cote de Nuits were spared by the hailstorm.

Masse said the whites were harvested mid-September in ‘ideal conditions’ and are ‘high class with precision and great freshness’. Of the reds, he said they are ‘of a very good level with a lovely bright colour and fine tannins’ assessing that ‘despite its chaotic weather, the 2014 vintage is going to show itself to be of a very good quality level’.

For particular lots in the auction Hanson highlighted that ‘excellent wines have been made in Savigny-les-Beaune, the three Cuvées of Corton Grand Cru, many Beaunes, Pommards and Volnays and the three great wines from the Cote de Nuits: Echézeaux, Clos de la Roche and Mazis-Chambertin.

Adding that ‘the Santenay is the best the Hospices has made since the Cuvée was donated in 2010’.

This year’s Pièce du Président, a special barrel of wine of which all the proceeds are donated to the charities supported by the Hospices,will be a 228 litre barrel of Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru: Cuvée des Présidents.

Presiding over this year’s auction will be guests Slovakian fashion model and actress Adriana Karembeu and French television host and journalist Michel Drucker.

‘There is a lot of interest this year, as people have heard about the excellent weather, running up to, and throughout the vintage. It helps that this year we have 20 per cent more barrels than last year, so more chances for Burgundy-lovers to come away with a wine of their dreams’ Hanson said.

Christie’s France will be hosting the auction which takes place on Sunday, November 16.

Written by Georgina Hindle

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