To paraphrase the Barber of Seville, ‘too much is not even enough’. Apparently, this is particularly true when it comes to red Burgundy. Luckily, the upcoming charitable auction of the wines of the Hospices de Nuits will provide solace to wine lovers seeking more – the 62nd edition brings 160 barrels to market from the landmark 2022 vintage across a total of 19 different cuvées.
Wines are sold by the barrel, each holding 228 litres or 24 cases of 12. The estimates run from a low of €9,000 per barrel for several of the village wines to a high of €38,000 for the Nuits-St-Georges premier cru Les Saint-Georges ‘Vieilles Vignes’ Cuvée Hugues Perdrizet, although hammer prices regularly exceed the high estimate.
The history of the Hospices (hospital) dates to the 13th century, but it has long lived in the shadow of its more famous cousin in Beaune. Today’s buildings were begun during the reign of Louis XIV, who had a particular fondness for the Burgundy wine that his doctor had recommended. Distinguished residents of the town began to donate vineyards in 1688 to the benefit of the Hospices, and the sale of the wine they provided has helped sustain the establishment for nearly 350 years.
Today the Hospices farms nearly 13ha, nearly all within the limits of Nuits-St-Georges. Notable holdings include the premier cru monopole Les Didiers (2.45ha). The domaine also owns nearly a hectare of adjacent premier cru Les Saint-Georges. Les Saint-Georges is commonly considered the best Nuits premier cru and is under consideration for grand cru status. In addition to these top-quality holdings, there are also parcels north of the village near the border with Vosne-Romanée in the premier crus Aux Vignerondes, Aux Murgers, and Aux Boudots. The domaine is rounded out by several village-level climats at the base of the slope.
Collectors wishing to bid in the auction need to register with the auctioneer, Hugues Cortot, prior to the sale: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bidders with the necessary paperwork will be able to place absentee bids or to bid via telephone, internet, or live. Bids are subject to a 6% buyer’s premium and 20% VAT on the buyer’s premium and the hammer price. Successful purchasers wishing to export the wines from the European Union will also have VAT waived on the hammer price; wines intended for export must be purchased by a négociant. The Hospices will credit purchasers a rebate of 2% of the hammer price for prompt payment of their invoice.
These négociants conduct the maturation of the cask on behalf of the purchasers and bottle, label and pack the wines at the end of this period. A variety of négociants, who each charge different amounts for these services, can be found at the end of the catalogue, which is available online here.
The sale will take place at the Château du Clos de Vougeot on Sunday, 12 March, beginning at 14.30 local time.