Total sales at last weekend’s Hospices de Nuits-St-Georges 2023 charity auction hit €3.6m (£3.2m), up by 45% on last year’s event, said organisers.
They were partly helped by a Burgundy 2022 vintage that has been described as both generous in quantity and promising in quality.
‘More generous than in previous years, the 2022 harvest enabled 160 barrels to be put up for auction across 19 different cuvées,’ said organisers of the auction, which was held at Château du Clos de Vougeot and overseen by auctioneer Hugues Cortot.
Last year’s auction, which also set a record sales total and was built around the smaller 2021 vintage, featured 109 barrels.
The annual barrel auction is focused on the vineyards of the historic Domaine des Hospices de Nuits-St-Georges, a hospital and wine-growing estate dating back to 1270.
Alongside the work of technical director Jean-Luc Moron, there have also been strong efforts to lift the profile of Burgundy’s ‘other’ Hospices auction in recent years, and this has resulted in higher sales totals.
While the overall sales total far outpaced last year’s event, the average price per barrel dipped slightly in 2023.
Red wines made up 18 of the 19 cuvées offered, and the average price per cuvée of red wine was €22,318, down 0.7% down on last year’s auction.
Results highlights included the Nuits-St-Georges Premier Cru Les Saint Georges ‘Cuvée Georges Faiveley’ fetching €55,000, compared to €52,000 last year.
A newly offered cuvée, the Nuits-St-Georges Premier Cru Les Saint Georges ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Cuvée Hugues Perdrizet, fetched €40,000. It was made from the estate’s oldest vines and paid homage to the Hospices’ first vineyard donor.
This year’s charity cuvée was sold by subscription at €150-a-bottle, with a limit of 24 bottles per subscriber.
It raised €64,580 for Les Bouses Roses charity, which contributes to the wellbeing of vulnerable people in hospital and retirement homes, said organisers. Officially named the ‘Cuvée des Bienfaiteurs’, the wine was a blend of the Domaine’s nine Nuits-St-Georges Premier Cru sites.
‘It’s a new record [price],’ Hospices director François Poher told Decanter. He explained how the money would help to fund the charity’s staff to visit and spend time with those in need, while proceeds from the wider auction also go to benefit Hospices work.
He said the team had been encouraged by the rising number of international bidders at the auction in recent years, and that he expected this to continue to grow, particularly online. ‘We have a lot of possibilities to enlarge our auction in the whole world,’ he said.
In the vineyards, Poher also noted the possibility of Nuits-St-Georges gaining a grand cru site in future. ‘Perhaps one day, in Nuits-St-Georges, we will have a grand cru in this appellation. It’s in process,’ he said.
While wine quality is already strong, that would potentially help to enhance the auction’s reputation further, he believes.
Last November’s Hospices de Beaune auction also set multiple sales records, again emphasising the promise of Burgundy’s nascent 2022 crop.