157th Hospices sale hits £12m record

This year’s Hospices de Beaune auction raised the highest total in its history, while the ‘Pièce des Présidents’ charity barrel was the second most expensive ever sold.

In total, the sale held over the weekend realised €13,529,301 (£12,041,078/US$15,964,575) and was 100% sold by lot and well exceeded the pre-sale estimate.

With 787 barrels in the sale (almost 200 more than in the 2016 and 2015 sales), the average price per cask was €16,657.

New records were also set for Bâtard Montrachet with three barrels of Cuvée Dames de Flandres selling for €138,650, €123,375 and €117,500.

Bids came in from 18 countries across four continents as well as the packed auction floor in the Hôtel Dieu.

The charity lot, two barrels of Corton Grand Cru Clos du Rois was sold for €420,000 (£373,800/US$495,600) and was bought jointly by La Maison Albert Bichot and a Chinese collector.

François Pohler, newly appointed director of the Hospices de Beaune, commented: “A place and a time of all contrasts – the noise of the room, the atmosphere of high concentration, the tradition and the modernity of the auction process, prices exceeding expectation.

“The auction room, as centre point of attention, supported by the crowd outside, following the sale on a large screen, stimulated us all. At the end, one goal, that each Euro donated by the entire world today will benefit at it best those who trust us since ever. Two important medical causes – The Federation for Brain Research and The Foundation for Alzheimer Research as well as an environmental cause – Tara Expeditions, have encouraged the room and the world to bid on La Pièce des Présidents.”

Commenting on the success of the sale, Agathe de Saint Ceran, wine specialist at Christie’s Paris, added it was, “due to an extensive promotion tour, including Paris, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Bordeaux and Beijing , which was reflected in strong bidding throughout the six hour long auction from trade and private collectors from 18 different countries.”

Jasper Morris MW meanwhile, Christie’s wine consultant, added credit was also due to the winemaking team at the Hospices for their efforts with what appears to be a promising vintage.

He said: “We owe this great result largely to the work of Ludivine Griveau and her team for producing such high – quality wines in both colours. It has been a pleasure to taste such an excellence class of wine throughout 787 barrels which has been mirrored by the international buying participation in the 157th Hospices de Beaune sale.”

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