Sunday November 19, 2023: the Hospices de Beaune hosted the 163rd Wine Auction, organized for the third year by Sotheby’s. Once again, the results of the sale testify to the support and commitment of buyers to the famous Beaune institution. The 2023 edition of the sale achieved €23,221,000 for a total of 753 pieces, compared with almost €29 million for 802 pieces in 2022, making it the 2nd most successful sale in the history of the Hospices de Beaune. The average price of each piece this year was €30,838.
Albéric Bichot, 6th generation, himself born at the Hospices de Beaune, emphasizes: “Even if prices have fallen (-16.12% for red wines and -12.78% for white wines), this is a very fine sale for the hospital, with a magnificent result. For many wines, we’re back to prices that will arouse the interest of former aficionados of the event, which is rather pleasing.”
The “Pièce des Présidents”, a Mazis-Chambertin, an emblematic Grand Cru of the Côte de Nuits, was acquired for €350,000. This exceptional wine was housed in a very special barrel made from the remaining part of a two hundred-year-old oak tree, which was used to restore the spire of Notre Dame de Paris.
The proceeds from the sale of the “Pièce des Présidents” will be donated to two associations that support “ageing well”: the “Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale” (FRM), sponsored by the French actor Thierry Lhermitte, and the “Initiative de Recherche pour une Longévité en Bonne Santé” (IRLB), sponsored by the French doctor and TV presenter Michel Cymes. In the context of an ageing population, the FRM funds research projects on a wide range of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular, neurological and psychiatric disorders. The IRLB’s mission is to support research programs that can lead to an improvement in healthy human longevity.
Albert Bichot and the Hospices de Beaune
Major benefactor of culture and heritage in Burgundy, Albert Bichot is an independent, family-owned company founded in 1831.
“Buying from the Hospices de Beaune is both a tradition and a commitment,” says Albéric Bichot.
For over 25 years, Albert Bichot has distinguished itself as 1st buyer. This was once again the case this year, with the acquisition of 156 pieces for €7,689,000 (33% of the total sale amount and 21% of the volume), which represents an all-time record for the House.
Albert Bichot had the opportunity to acquire 43 pieces of Grands Crus, including the 5 pieces of Bâtard-Montrachet and 6 of the 8 pieces of Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, as well as all the pieces of Beaune Clos des Mouches white, a Premier Cru well known to the House, which owns a parcel in this prestigious Climat.
For Albéric Bichot: “The results of the Hospices sale are extraordinary, and I’m delighted to see the mobilization of the industry in support of this institution and the fine causes it supports.”
2023: a “yo-yo” vintage according to Ludivine Griveau, manager of the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune
This year 2023 was marked by unusual and challenging climatic conditions. A mild, dry winter was followed by a rainy spring and then a hot, stormy summer. Fortunately, a large part of the vineyard was spared of the damage caused by the summer storms. The grapes were able to continue ripening thanks to calmer, very warm weather in August and September. The bunches were harvested at perfect maturity from September 19, 2023. The harvest was generous and of high quality, despite the heterogeneity of the rainfall, which led to irregular vine growth from one plot to the next.
The 2023 vintage, also defined as “heterogeneous and surprising” by Ludivine Griveau, promises to be excellent.