This year’s sale has seen 828 barrels of wine fetch nearly 14.2 million euros, beating last year’s record and reflecting excitement around the Burgundy 2018 vintage.
Final wine sales for the Hospices de Beaune 2018 auction were €14,187,150 (£12.6 million, $16.17m), excluding the buyer’s premium, according to Christie’s, which hosted the sale. The previous record, set 12 months ago, was 13.5m euros, according to last year’s press release.
A barrel of Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru sold for €135,000, a new record for a single barrel sold at the Hospices auction, excluding the flagship ‘President’s barrel’.
This year’s auction featured the highest number of barrels since 2009, and 41 more than last year, with 631 barrels of red and 197 barrels of white sold.
The average price per barrel sold in 2018 was €16,850, higher than in 2017 and 2016, according to a Christie’s press release.
Early excitement around the Burgundy 2018 vintage likely contributed to the strong prices.
‘We are delighted with these very good results which celebrated the 2018 vintage,’ said Ludivine Griveau, winemaker and vineyard manager for Domaine des Hospices de Beaune.
Around 69% of the lots went to merchants and 31% to private buyers, in value terms, said Agathe de Saint Céran, of Christie’s wine department and in charge of the sale.
Asia-based bidders dominated private buyer sales, accounting for 55% of the wine sold, by value, with those in the US just under 7% and Europe-based buyers making up the difference.
Christie’s spent time promoting the sale with tastings across Asia, in Beijing, Shanghai, Honk Kong, Tokyo, and Singapore, Saint Céran said.
There was some disappointment around this year’s charity lot, known as the President’s barrel or ‘Pièce des Présidents’.
Featuring two barrels this year, the lot sold for €230,000, compared to last year’s €420,000. Proceeds are donated to charity.
It was composed by two barrels: a Corton Grand-Cru – Clos du Roi and a Meursault Premier Cru Les Genevrières. Buyers were Brazil-based Anima Vinum and Alberic Bichot with his Canadian client, Christie’s said.
‘We need to create more buzz for the Pièce des Président next year,’ said Pierre Gernelle, general manager of the Federation of Burgundy negociants. ‘The other lots sold very well, so it was noticeable that the president’s piece did not.’
Average yields for 2018 across 60 hectares of Hospices vineyards 50 hectolitres per hectare for the whites and 42 for the reds, said Ludivine Griveau.
Despite hot weather, alcohol levels were generally around 13.5%, Griveau said. Record rainfall in the spring kept the water table high, and cooler summer evenings helped to maintain freshness, she added.
Editing by Chris Mercer.
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