A Cuvée (wine) from the Hospices de Beaune
The wines at the Hospices de Beaune auction are presented by “cuvée“ (wine). The cuvées described in the catalogue represent a particular type of wine. There are 50 cuvées in total (17 white and 33 red wines) and each one bears the name of the wine or the name of the village (“Appellation” in French), and the name of the historic donor of the vineyard, e.g. Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru [name of the wine] Cuvée Madeleine Collignon [name of the donor] or Beaune 1er Cru [name of the wine] Cuvée Nicolas Rolin [name of the benefactor].
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A Pièce: a full barrel from the Hospices de Beaune
The Hospices de Beaune wines are sold in barrels known as pièces. The barrels of any one cuvée are identical (same size and same description). A buyer can purchase one single barrel, or several, or all the remaining barrels within a ‘series’, at any time during the sale, at an identical hammer price. One barrel corresponds to 228 litres which become 288 bottles (75 cl) after ageing in the Albert Bichot cellars in the centre of Beaune.
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50 MYTHICAL WINES
The Domaine de Hospices de Beaune (estate)
The Domaine des Hospices de Beaune consists of the vineyards, premises and the machinery necessary for wine growing and vinification. The Hospices vineyards have grown in size over the centuries thanks to donations. Today, they cover approximately 60 hectares (146 acres), including notable prestigious Premier Cru and Grand Cru appellations which currently represent 85% of total vineyard area.
Primeur wine from the Hospices de Beaune (as futures)
The Hospices de Beaune sells wines at auction as “vins primeurs”, i.e. from the current year’s harvest, which have been barrelled, but still need to be aged. These primeur wines must be aged for 12 to 18 months to reveal their full potential. This is a delicate mission, and choosing Albert Bichot for the élevage (care and ageing) is a guarantee of quality.
White wine, red wine and spirits (Marc and Fine de Bourgogne) from the Hospices de Beaune
The Hospices de Beaune auction features 50 wines: 33 red wines and 17 white wines sold by the barrel (228 litres or 288 bottles after ageing) as well as two spirits (Marc and Fine de Bourgogne), which are sold per hectolitre (22 UK gallons or 26 US gallons)
A Lot sold at the Hospices auction
In an auction, a lot is an item or a group of items offered for sale together. Each lot has a lot number which determines its presentation order in the sale. In the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction, each barrel, called a “pièce” in Burgundy, constitutes a lot in the sale. The ‘multi-purchase option’ gives the buyer the choice of buying one or several lots within a series, at the hammer price of the lot for which he or she first bid.
A ‘Series’ sold at the Hospices auction
Each wine offered for sale is subdivided into a series of barrels, called pièces in Burgundy. The buyer can, at any time, choose to purchase a single barrel, or several, or all the remaining barrels within a series, at the hammer price (buying price excluding fees) of the first barrel he or she bid for.
Multiplication factor: the option to buy a ‘series’ at the Hospices wine auction
All the barrels (called pièces in Burgundy) of any one cuvée are identical: same size, same description and each barrel constitutes a lot. Each wine offered for sale is subdivided into “series* of several barrels. Barrels will be offered with a ‘multi-purchase’ option. This means that the buyer of the first barrel in the series will be able to purchase other barrels at the same hammer price (buying price excluding fees), up to the total number of barrels in the series. If the buyer of the first barrel decides not to purchase other barrels or all the barrels in the series, and prefers to buy only the one barrel, the option to buy the series passes to the buyer of the following barrel, and this will continue until all the series is sold.