The 2021 Côte de Nuits classic from Burgundy is scant in amount, however consists of valuable and refined qualities.
The 61st Hospices de Nuits-Saint-Georges wine public sale was held final weekend within the Burgundy area of France—situated about two thirds of the gap between the cities of Paris and Geneva. It raised 2.49 million Euros ($2.73 million) in hours. The occasion started in true French vogue—with a feast.
A whole bunch of friends sat inside a wooden paneled room within the historic Clos de Vougeot monastery—situated a ten minute drive north of the city of Nuits-Saint-Georges. They wore ties, jackets and clothes, but in addition down jackets and sneakers. The group included ex-Tour de France biking champion Bernard Hinault, in addition to a earlier chef for U.S. President Reagan, and wine brokers from all through the world.
A fleet of sommeliers sporting black anoraks and black ties carried wine bottles in wire baskets as they moved in choreographed coordination between black vested and black skirted wait employees. The opening dish—monkfish and shellfish (médaillon de lotte aux coquillages SIC) with Burgundy saffron sauce—was paired with a silky 2016 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru Cuvée François de Salins white wine. Subsequent—roasted duck breast (magret de canard roti) and black currant sauce was paired with a 2015 Nuits-Saint-Georges Premier Cru Les Didiers. Assume licorice, cherry and minestrone aromas adopted by a stew of mocha and blackberry flavors.
Earlier than this lunch, friends had first visited a dim cellar to style juice from the 108 barrels of Pinot Noir pink wine and one barrel of Chardonnay white wine up for public sale. Inside minutes the profile of the 2021 classic emerged: brilliant and lambent acidity built-in with spry aromas of barely wild pink fruits—nation lane strawberries and younger raspberries—earlier than a background of refined, silky tannins.
After this preliminary tasting and lunch, the public sale came about in one other stone room draped with tapestries inside Clos de Vougeot. Rigidity buzzed: contemplating that extreme frost and gripping mildew worn out most of Burgundy’s 2021 classic, would this yr’s gross sales meet expectations?
The sale started at 3:14 p.m. The primary lot was a 228-liter barrel of Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Murgers—Cuvée Guyard de Changey. It was anticipated to fetch a excessive of 20,000 Euros ($22,086), however when the gavel dropped at 3:16 p.m. it had offered for 35,000 Euros ($38,650)—setting the tone of the public sale as bold. (This wine is each a hefty and basic Nuits-Saint-Georges pink, with highly effective aromas of darkish fruit and spice, arresting flavors and plush tannins.)
Gross sales continued to shatter expectations. Think about Lot 23—a barrel of Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Boudots—Cuvée Mesny de Boisseaux: this was additionally anticipated to promote for a excessive of 20,000 Euros, however as a substitute raked in 38,000 Euros ($41,963). (The wine is beautiful: perky aromas of untamed strawberries, and deep darkish basic flavors of cherries coated in shining acidity). The only barrel of white wine was Lot 73—Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru Les Terres Blanches Cuvée Pierre de Pême—which pulled in 52,000 Euros ($57,424), or greater than double the excessive of 24,000 Euros anticipated.
After this sale of the white wine, singer/actress Élodie Frégé stood beside auctioneer Hugues Cortot and led the viewers in a hand clapping singalong.
Lot 80 was a particular ‘charity barrel’ that auctioned for 22,481 Euros ($24,825). This features a particular mix of premier cru wines from 9 estates, with juice from each northern and southern Burgundy, from grapes harvested on each excessive and low slopes, and from vines of various ages. The proceeds go on to APF France Handicap—a corporation based in 1933 to help these with disabilities and their households all through France.
An hour and 45 minutes after the public sale started, the 109 barrels had offered for a complete of two.486 million Euros ($2.745 million)—virtually 30% above the overall gained ultimately yr’s public sale.
This Nuits-Saint-Georges public sale is separate from an analogous Burgundy public sale that takes place annually within the metropolis of Beaune—a half hour drive to the south. Each auctions increase funds to assist hospitals, and they’re complimentary fairly than aggressive. For instance, at lunch I sat beside Charlotte Fougere—Deputy Mayor of Beaune—who, with a lady’s group from that metropolis, attends this Nuits-Saint-Georges public sale annually to buy a barrel. Additionally, the primary wine served at lunch got here from the Hospices de Beaune property.
The present iteration of the Hospices de Beaune wine public sale started 101 years earlier than that of Nuits-Saint-Georges, however the Beaune hospices (or a hospital for many who lack funds) originated within the 15th century, whereas that of Nuits-Saint-Georges originated a number of hundred years earlier—within the yr 1270. Nonetheless, what’s a number of centuries amongst buddies? The complementarity of those occasions additionally will increase publicity for each, much like what happens for 2 famend wine auctions within the U.S.: in Naples in Florida and in Napa Valley in California. The ties of amenability and collaboration that endure between these auctions additionally helps promote the wines, meals and tradition of the whole Burgundy area.