The 60th Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges Wine Auction has smashed previous records for sales and buyer numbers, buoyed by strong buyer interest in Burgundy 2020 vintage, despite global travel restrictions.
The wine auction held on March 14 at Château du Clos-de-Vougeot generated €1,923,000 in total, an increase of 19.11% compared to 2020, a new record price for the Hospice de Nuits auction since its inception.
The top lot was a Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Saint-Georges Cuvée Georges Faiveley pièce (barrel), which fetched € 32,000.
The charity pièce, the 228 liters of Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Saint-Georges, has reached a all-time record, with €49,380 raised for the auction’s chosen charity, Institut Pasteur, represented by the French author Erik Orsenna.
The overall sales were brisk despite the fact that this year’s auction had a lower number of barrels (nine fewer) on offer but registration of buyers this year was 20% higher than last year, which already was up by 50% over 2019, despite reduced number of international buyers.
The biggest buyer at the auction was Maison Bichot, which purchased a total of 16 barrels out of the 112 lots on offer. Edouard Delaunay, the Burgundian house now headed by fifth generation family owner Laurent Delaunay, is the second biggest buyer, with 13 barrels, accounting for 11.6% of the total sale.
“The result is as good as our approach. First of all, the buyers were there, with clients from all over the world who were interested in this event,” says Laurent Delaunay. “This growing interest in the sale, combined with the small volume and quality, resulted in a 26% increase in prices, a sign of the real interest aroused among buyers and collectors.”
2020 vintage in Burgundy
The 2020 vintage in Burgundy was described as a “classic” vintage, with a dry and sunny growing season. The lack of rain means that the grapes suffered no disease or rot, creating a vintage that’s generally considered to be concentrated with richness and tension.
“The 2020 vintage was exceptional, unanimously recognized as perhaps the best ever produced by the Hospices. The volume to be sold was low following a year of low yield,” adds Delaunay.
The white wines from the vintage are described to be “fruity and express a beautiful aromatic complexity, with very good acidity”. In spite of the summer heat, they are well balanced, with a classic freshness that meets the expectations of a typical bourguignon vintage.
The ideal conditions of sunshine and heat during ripening have led to concentrated red wines, with lots of character, but without being heavy.
Speaking of the auction result, Erik Orsenna, Ambassador of the Institut Pasteur and the international network of Instituts Pasteur, commented: “I am particularly delighted and honored to be the sponsor of the 60th Nuits-Saint-Georges Wine Charity Auction in aid of a flu research program being developed at the Pasteur Institute.
“The generosity displayed by the bidders in raising of an incredible €49,380 make so much sense because the work of Louis Pasteur, wine doctor, chemist and visionary, has so much to do with wine production. In the name of all those at the Institute, I would like to thank you for your support; it’s by working together that we take research further! “