Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Dames Hospitalières
Colour is purple-ruby of medium depth, with vibrant, fresh aromas. First impression on the palate is harmonious, gentle fruitiness. These grapes were among the first to reach ripeness, being picked on the 3rd day of the Hospices harvest, 4th September. It is a wine of beautifully balanced fruit intensity, with moderate tannins and lively aftertaste, showing freshness and finesse. Grapes were so ripe that fermentation and maceration time in vat was extended to 23 days, to ensure gentle extractions of colour, tannin and flavour. This will make delicious, youthful drinking, and will also age superbly for mid-term enjoyment.
Pommard 1er Cru, Cuvée Dames de la Charité
This Cuvée is principally drawn from grapes grown in 1st Growths Les Rugiens, Petits Epenots and La Refène, with others from Les Combes dessus. In colour this is medium deep, with fragrantly ripe, beautiful aromas. The palate is full-bodied and rich, showing magnificent, dense fruitiness. It is harmonious and long, with superb potential for ageing two decades or more, while it gains complexity and smoothness.
Volnay 1er Cru, Cuvée Général Muteau
Medium-deep purple, with seductive Pinot aromas. This has beguiling, ripe fruitiness in mid palate, with elegant, velvety texture. It finishes fresh and long, with gentle tannins - a pure example of 1st Growth Volnay which may be enjoyed while youthful, and which will age gracefully for a decade and more.
Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Guigone de Salins
Each Beaune Cuvée has its own style, and this one is well structured and harmonious. Aromas are ripe and complex, the palate showing dense, fine fruit, with gentle tannins which coat the mouth, without bitterness. The wine has splendid, fresh length, and is recommended for laying down at least 3-5 years after bottling.
Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron
N.B. There are always two Cuvée names for the Hospices Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru. 3 barrels in 2015 are offered as Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron, and 3 more as Cuvée Georges Kritter (see below). The grapes were fermented in one vat, then the wine was given the names of the two generous benefactors who each donated funds to buy the vineyards.
The vines grow in a sweet spot at the heart of the hillside, and are always amongst the first to ripen in this famous Grand Cru. In colour, this is rich, deep purple, with the nose showing fresh spiciness, and magnificent, ripe black fruits character. This is a powerfully built wine, with a densely fruity, well-rounded, creamy texture which is thrilling to experience. Gentle tannins coat the mouth, with the finish being exceptionally smooth and long. Once again, the Hospices Clos de la Roche is a totally outstanding, great wine – for ageing two decades or more.
Corton Grand Cru, Cuvée Charlotte Dumay
As is traditional, the grapes for this Cuvée came principally from Corton-Renardes, bringing power and structure, and Corton-Bressandes, bringing perfume and finesse. Colour is strikingly attractive, medium-deep garnet-purple, the nose being fragrant with luscious Pinot aromas. The palate shows rich, elegant fruitiness from start to finish, with well-sustained, intensity throughout, and refreshing, gently tannic, lingering aftertaste. This is a beautiful wine – harmonious and long – for mid- and long-term keeping.
Beaune-Grèves 1er Cru, Cuvée Pierre Floquet
Colour is brilliant ruby-purple, catching the light, aromas being perfumed and fine. This shows impressive, well-rounded fruitiness, with beautiful texture and great elegance. Gentle tannins define the finish, with fine harmony and lovely length. This a wine of great distinction, which may not reach full maturity until it has aged a decade or more.
Pommard-Epenots 1er Cru, Cuvée Dom Goblet
Medium-deep purple, with rich fragrance. This is delicately structured, with plump fruitiness and silky, mid-palate texture. The gentle tannins are perfectly integrated. It is exceptionally elegant, promising luscious, complex enjoyment, with a spicy, soft finish. It may be tempting to enjoy it youthful, but the wine will also mature beautifully.
Auxey-Duresses 1er Cru Les Duresses, Cuvée Boillot
Colour is purple-ruby of medium depth, the nose being openly fruity, fresh and ripe. The palate is richly structured, showing powerful, dense fruitiness, beautiful balance and fine length. It is ageing in not-new barrels which have contained one previous harvest, and is once again outstanding amongst the lesser-known villages – an impressive wine for mid- and long-term ageing.
Volnay 1er Cru, Cuvée Blondeau
This Cuvée marries, in almost equal parts, grapes from two of Volnay’s greatest 1st Growths: Champans and Taillepieds, with smaller quantities of Ronceret and Mitans. In colour, this is deeply purple, with ripe, characterful aromas; palate is intensely fruity, with powerful tannins. A Volnay for mid- and long-term keeping.
Pommard, Cuvée Billardet
Purple-red of medium depth, with nose showing open, fine fruitiness. Palate is elegantly built, giving a very approachable Pommard. The wine has dense fruitiness, harmonious, fine tannins and refreshing length.
Mazis-Chambertin Grand Cru, Cuvée Madeleine Collignon
Purple-ruby of medium depth, with fragrant, well-ripened aromas. This is a beautiful wine, all elements being perfectly integrated. Profound, succulent fruitiness allies with fleshy texture, appetizing freshness, gently mouth-coating tannins and long-extended aftertaste. Less massive than in some recent vintages, this Grand Cru shows poise, harmony, perfume and beauty. From a powerful vintage, here is a Mazis-Chambertin of great finesse – with the potential to make magnificent drinking, over at least the next two decades.
Corton-Clos du Roi Grand Cru, Cuvée Baronne du Baÿ
It is now nine vintages since the Hospices first decided to vinify the grapes from Corton Clos du Roi separately, allowing the beauty and individuality of this most famous Corton hillside to be fully expressed. This rare Hospices Cuvée now stands comparison with some of the greatest Grand Cru names of the Côte de Nuits. Deeply purple, with very ripe, distinguished aromas, it shows succulent, densely textured fruitiness on the palate. This is a most seductive wine, with magnificent length, mouth-coating, gentle tannins and great potential for ageing. It is again one of the greatest reds in the cellar this year.
Volnay-Santenots 1er Cru, Cuvée Jéhan de Massol
The secret of this Cuvee’s consistent beauty, year on year, is the tiny Pinot grapes, with thick skins, produced from its fine, low-yielding Pinot plants, which are some of the noblest in the Hospices Domaine. Amongst the First Growths of Volnay, Les Santenots often has surprising structure and richness. To which, for this Cuvée, must be added voluminous fruit, creamy texture, elegant tannins and silky aftertaste. This is a beautiful, finely balanced wine with a long finish – for enjoyment from 2020 onwards for at least a decade.
Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru, Cuvée Philippe le Bon
Pale golden in colour, with complex, ripe apricot and quince aromas. This is superbly rich, full-bodied and ripe - with an extra dimension of silky fruitiness which lifts it into the realm of the greatest white Burgundies. It is long and fresh, with good crispness on the finish.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cuvée François de Salins|
These vines are situated on the south-western side of the Corton hill, not far from the historic heart of this appellation, marked by a familiar landmark, the Le Charlemagne crucifix.
Pale lemon-gold with green tints, this wine’s aromas are complex, fresh and superbly ripe. Richly built without heaviness, the mid-palate shows concentrated fruit with freshness and exceptional, lovely length.
Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru, Cuvée Albert Grivault
This vineyard is situated at the top of the best section of Les Charmes dessus, in the heart of Meursault’s finest, gently sloping hillside. It regularly gives wines of spectacular opulence, allied to minerality and finesse. In 2015, this Cuvée is outstanding. Richly golden, with a very fine, lively nose, it is full-bodied, with great fruit intensity and lively, refreshing length. This is again one of the greatest whites of the Hospices vintage.
Meursault-Genevrières 1er Cru, Cuvée Baudot
Pale green-gold, with pungently fragrant, nutty aromas. All sugars have finished fermenting, revealing a creamily textured, intensely fruity wine, with good balance of acidity and reserves of intense fruitiness, for mid-term ageing – though it will be very tempting to enjoy this early, as soon as delivered.
Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru, Cuvée Dames de Flandres
Once again many of the berries here were tiny and well-spaced, forming completely healthy bunches. It is the noble quality of the low-yielding vine-plant itself, allied to an outstanding terroir, which allows a Grand Cru such as this Bâtard-Montrachet to excel, year on year. In colour, richly golden, with sumptuous aromas, including ripe pineapple. This is a dramatic wine, with powerfully rich body, intensely concentrated fruitiness and admirable, fresh length.
Corton-Vergennes Grand Cru, Cuvée Paul Chanson
Located directly downhill from the Hospices Corton-Charlemagne Cuvée Roi Soleil, this wine has a distinctly different character, showing voluptuous fruitiness allied to creamy length. The 2015 has freshly complex, tropical fruits on the nose, the palate being plump and full-bodied, with spectacular richness and great length. Finish shows good acidity. All sugars are fully fermented, so the perceived sweetness must relate to the great ripeness of the grapes.
Meursault-Charmes 1er Cru, Cuvée de Bahèzre de Lanlay
Pale golden, with intense aromas recalling oranges one day, and peaches, on another. Fruitiness is intense, with underlying acidity being in fine balance. This is a powerful wine, where the natural ripeness of the grapes is strikingly apparent. It has silky texture, and a fresh, long finish.
Meursault, Cuvée Goureau
Nearly half this Cuvée – 48% – comes from old vines in First Growth Les Porusots, which account for its regularly showing rich structure, roundness and harmonious length. Yields were low, due to the grapes having been concentrated by the summer heat and this allowed extra goodness to pour into the fruit as it matured. Green-golden in colour, this has lively aromas, with impressive attack on the palate, well-balanced body and fruitiness, and a fine, refreshing finish.
Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru, Cuvée du Roi Soleil
- previously known as Cuvée Charlotte Dumay
Every extra year that these vines age, the plants seem to draw additional fruit intensity, minerality and complexity from the sub-soil. The vineyards face due east, high on the Corton hillside. The vines’ roots, planted 14 years ago, are penetrating ever more deeply into the limestone. This is richly golden, with lively aromas recalling peach and mandarin. It is a full-bodied, spectacular wine, with profound richness, intense fruit, fine acidity and elegant length.
Echézeaux Grand Cru Cuvée Jean–Luc Bissey
Three years ago, the Hospices Domaine welcomed this generous donation from Monsieur Jean-Luc Bissey. The vines are in the climat of “Les Echézeaux du Dessus”, where the land slopes gently upwards, towards Echézeaux “Les Rouges du Bas”. They were planted by Monsieur Bissey’s father after 1945, following his return from the war. This specific plot of Echézeaux gives a wine of great finesse, showing fruit concentration and freshness, with gentle tannins. The
2015 has impressive purple-ruby colour, with aromas which are fragrant and intense. The palate is perfectly poised, combining concentrated fruitiness, superb length, fine tannins and freshness. It is a great wine of exceptional elegance and distinction, which needs cellaring at least 4-6 years, and then will gain in silkiness and complexity well into the 2030s..
Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Nicolas Rolin
Cuvée Nicolas Rolin is made from a high proportion of really fine Pinot plants, with small bunches and tiny berries. This 2015 is once again amongst the outstanding successes of the First Growth Beaunes, the vines being situated in Beaune’s central and northerly sectors. This year, the wine has solidly purple colour, with powerful aromas which are full of ripe Pinot grape character. The palate has full-bodied attack, with dense fruit in mid-taste, beautiful concentration, impressive length, and richly mouth-coating tannins. This may be cellared away for extensive ageing, for ten years and more.
Corton Grand Cru, Cuvée Dr. Peste
Approximately half the grapes for this Dr. Peste Cuvée come from the south-facing Chaumes sector of the Corton hillside, with most of the balance being from east-facing Les Bressandes. In colour, this is solid purple-ruby, the nose being ripe and fresh, showing black fruits and spiciness. The wine is powerfully structured and savoury, with well integrated, rich tannins and excellent length. It has beguilingly gentle, fresh aftertaste, and shows magnificent potential for mid- and long-term ageing.
Clos de la Roche Grand Cru, Cuvée Georges Kritter
N.B. There are always two Cuvée names for the Hospices Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru. 3 barrels in 2015 are offered as Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron (see above), and 3 more, here, as Cuvée Georges Kritter. The grapes were fermented in one vat, then the wine was given the names of the two generous benefactors who each donated funds to buy the vineyards.
Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Clos des Avaux
This 1st Growth Beaune Cuvée is always a wine of good fruit, but requiring significant barrel- and bottle-ageing to bring it to softness and complex maturity. Colour is rich purple, the nose being powerful, ripe and complex. 1st impression on the palate is of full, rich fruitiness, continuing all the way to a beautifully gentle, refreshing finish. Long-fermented and macerated (23 days) this wine has personality and poise, with lovely balance.
Pommard, Cuvée Raymond Cyrot
One of the great strengths of the Hospices de Beaune Domaine is that many Cuvées have been carefully designed to incorporate grapes from several sectors of a given appellation. These Pommard grapes came from 6 different plots, some high on the hill, some in mid-slope, some lower down. 1st Growth grapes make up more than a third of this wine, from les Charmots and les Bertins, with a few from les Rugiens bas. The 2015 Raymond Cyrot is richly purple, with open, ripe aromas. The palate shows real harmony between dense fruitiness, ample structure, fine tannins and impressive length. This is a splendid wine for mid- and long-term keeping, which may well not reach its peak until the late 2020s.
Volnay-Santenots 1er Cru, Cuvée Gauvain
This is deeply coloured, with rich, ebullient fruitiness on the nose. It has more structure than the Jéhan de Massol Cuvée of Volnay Les Santenots, being solidly built, with dense fruitiness and roasted fruit character. Ample tannins are gentle, yet will need carefully-honed barrel-ageing to allow them to soften and harmonise. This wine shows great class, and will make seductive, complex drinking over the coming 15+ years.
Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Brunet
Over one third of this Cuvée came from Les Bressandes, which tends to give well-structured wines, and 85% came from old vines dating from, or prior to, 1976. Colour is medium deep purple, with nose showing open fruitiness, recalling vibrant black and red fruits. On the palate, impressive structure is well enveloped by dense, ripe fruitiness. The wine finishes with fine tannins and well-balanced aftertaste.
Beaune blanc 1er Cru Cuvée Suzanne et Raymond
This Cuvée comes from 1st Growth limestone- and pebble-rich soils, uphill from Beaune Clos des Mouches. It joined the Hospices de Beaune auction for the first time last year, the land having previously been planted with Pinot Noir. Yields were tiny, from these vines – approximately 25 hectolitres per hectare. Colour is pale golden, with freshly ripe, lemony aromas. Palate is richly built, giving an impression of very sweet fruit, even though its sugars have completely fermented out. There is balancing, underlying freshness and fine aftertaste. This will be delicious while youthful, and also be worth maturing for a few years.
Chablis 1er Cru Côte de Léchet Cuvée Jean-Marc Brocard
This year’s new Cuvée, generously donated by Monsieur Jean-Marc Brocard, comes from vines which are approximately 30 years old, situated in mid-slope of the 1st growth Côte de Léchet. The wine has fermented and is now lodged in a not-new “queue” barrel holding 456 litres which had previously been used for one harvest’s fermentation. Colour is pale, lemon-gold, with lively, citrus aromas. Palate is plump and round, showing fine fruit density, with refreshing, well-balanced acidity and attractive length.
Saint-Romain (blanc), Cuvée Joseph Menault
This wine comes from two plots in Saint-Romain at different altitudes, with just 50 metres of height difference between them. The higher plot, known as Le Village Haut, lies alongside hilltop scrubland, and may be protected from the depredations of wild boar - who will eat the grapes, if given the chance - by carefully installed, electric fencing. The wine was fermented in 600-litre, not-new large tuns, contributing to its richness and length. The nose shows very pretty, fresh citrus fruitiness. The palate is full and rich, with an under-tow of welcome acidity which contributes to an aftertaste which is refreshing and long. This is a lovely wine for relatively early enjoyment.
Meursault-Porusots 1er Cru, Cuvée Jéhan Humblot
Green-golden in colour, with very pretty, lively aromas The palate shows powerful attack, leading into richly integrated mid-taste, combining ripe fruitiness with fine structure. The finish is long and beautiful, with splendid freshness. Many superb Meursaults have been produced in 2015, and this is certainly one to treasure.
Pouilly-Fuissé, Cuvée Françoise Poisard
These were the first Hospices grapes to be harvested, on 27th August, from the Domaine’s most southerly vineyard. The wine has fermented and is being aged in not-new 600-litre large tuns (known as demi-muids) so the input from fermentation in oak is very subtle. The yield is lower than usual, as the summer was particularly dry in Pouilly-Fuissé, but this has contributed to the wine’s remarkable richness and concentration. Medium-golden in colour, with ripe aromas recalling quince, this is an opulently rich wine, with clean fruitiness and balanced, refreshing aftertaste. Those acquiring this wine may find it impossible to hold back from opening many bottles, for early enjoyment !
Meursault, Cuvée Loppin
This wine has relatively modest vineyard origins, compared to other Meursaults in the Hospices Domaine. Just 25% of the Cuvée comes from 1st Growth land, Les Cras – but the wine’s qualities are undeniable. After 3 years of very reduced yields, 2015 year produced a welcome eleven barrels. The wine has appetizingly fresh, fine aromas, with medium-bodied palate, which is full and flowery. The grapes were superbly ripe on picking, and have given a powerful wine with satisfying, long finish.
Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Rousseau-Deslandes
In colour, this is rich, purple-garnet of medium depth, the nose being fresh, open, full and ripe. It has concentrated, dense fruitiness, with a well-defined personality which is clearly visible. There are gentle, finely-rounded tannins on the finish, with harmonious length, the wine having been drawn off from its vat after 17 days fermentation and maceration. This is a Beaune Cuvée which can sometimes be under the radar, or slow to show its qualities. In 2015, these are clearly evident, offering a splendid wine for medium-term keeping.
Monthélie 1er Cru Les Duresses, Cuvée Lebelin
Picked at the end of the Hospices harvest, these fully-ripened grapes then fermented and macerated for just over two weeks (one of the shortest times) before the wine was drawn off for barreling. The result is a charming wine of great fragrance, with delicate balance. In colour, this is very pretty ruby-purple of medium depth. The nose shows warm, rich fruitiness. On the palate, it has lovely fruit, with beautiful tannins, and refreshing, ultra-fine aftertaste. It is aging in not-new 456 litres queues barrels. For early enjoyment, this cannot fail to charm.
Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Forneret
Last year, the Hospices was able to recover a prime parcel of vines in 1st Growth Les Vergelesses, which had briefly been rented to Beaune’s Lycée Viticole – so this Cuvée now has twice the number of barrels (22 in 2015), compared to the recent past. Many people rate Les Vergelesses, from which this is now entirely made, as Savigny’s most richly harmonious 1st Growth. Strongly purple in colour, with rich, bright fruitiness on the nose, this shows power, energy and freshness on the palate. It is beautifully balanced, with fine, long finish. I suspect it will give double pleasures, being luscious while youthful, and also developing into complex, smooth maturity after 5-8 years.
Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Maurice Drouhin
The grapes for this Cuvée come from some of Beaune’s most famous 1st Growth sites : Les Avaux, Les Boucherottes, Champs Pimonts and Les Grèves. Colour is purple-red of medium depth, with immediately appealing, openly ripe, Pinot aromas. Drawn off the skins after 17 days fermentation and maceration, this shows beautiful fruitiness, restrained tannins on the finish, with real charm and elegance.
Pommard, Cuvée Suzanne Chaudron
As with Pommard Cuvée Raymond Cyrot (see above), the grapes for this wine came from 6 different plots, some high on the hill, some in mid-slope, some lower down. Medium deep purple, with spicy, ripe aromas, it promises fine development. The wine is well-built, with broad attack and a fleshiness which is well sustained through the middle-palate. It finishes fresh, with rich, yet gentle tannins.
Santenay, Cuvée Christine Friedberg
This comes from a vineyard, Les Hâtes, which was donated in 2010 and lies just uphill from Santenay village, being bordered by First Growths. The grapes were given extra hang-time, to bring them to optimum ripeness. The wine is now aging in not-new 456 litres queues barrels. It has deep purple-ruby colour, the nose being brightly fruity, recalling red-currants. First impression on the palate is of well-rounded fruitiness, with good middle section, the finish being gently tannic and fresh, for enjoyment 2018-2020+.
Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Arthur Girard
This comes from two 1st Growth vineyards, Bas Marconnets and Peuillets, which lie close to the commune border with Beaune. It has the deepest colour of the three Savigny wines in the Hospices Domaine, and had the longest fermentation and maceration period (23 days). Aromas are splendidly ripe and open. Palate shows generosity, with excellent fruit concentration, fleshy texture and fine length. This is rich and harmonious, beautifully encapsulating the character of Savigny-les-Beaune, and will make superb drinking while youthful, and also over 8-15+ years.
Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Hugues et Louis Bétault
Deep purple in colour, with intense fruitiness on nose and palate. These grapes were picked on the 3rd day of the Hospices harvest (4th September), and then benefitted from 22 days fermentation and maceration time, before being drawn off from their skins. The middle palate is densely fruity, with powerful, well-ripened tannins which will allow this wine to mature slowly. One may imagine it reaching maturity 2019-2025+.
Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru, Cuvée Fouquerand
This comes from three of the commune’s highly regarded, south-facing 1st Growths – Talmettes, Gravains and Serpentières. Colour is medium deep purple-ruby, with characterful, intense aromas. 19 days vatting has produced a wine whose palate shows good structure with intense fruitiness, remarkable freshness and a firm, fine finish.
Pernand-Vergelesses 1er Cru, Les Basses Vergelesses, Cuvée Rameau-Lamarosse
Pretty garnet-purple of medium depth, the nose being open, freshly aromatic and already complex. Ripe fruitiness is immediately apparent on the palate, with well-judged structure, fine tannins and refreshing length. The vines are well-situated in mid-slope, beneath Pernand’s greatest site, the Ile des Vergelesses. Amongst the lesser-known villages in the Hospices Domaine, this 2015 shows superbly, for early drinking, and also merits longer ageing. It may reach its peak of smoothness and complexity 2019-2025+.
Beaune 1er Cru, Les Montrevenots, Cuvée Cyrot-Chaudron
Like the Pernand-Vergelesses, this is not an assemblage from several sites, but comes from a single vineyard, Les Montrevenots. The vines are high on the hillside, above Clos des Mouches, near the commune boundary with Pommard. Colour is medium deep, with nose showing fine fragrance and richness. Palate is well-structured, starting full, with strawberry and cherry aromas, well-judged tannins and harmonious, fine length.
The Presidents’ Barrel
Corton-Renardes Grand Cru
This wine results from the separate vinification of carefully selected grapes coming solely from the vineyard Corton-Renardes Grand Cru. The reputation of this famous section of the Corton hillside for producing one of Burgundy’s most powerfully structured, richly fruity, densely textured, long lived Grand Cru red wines is long established. This one barrel is unique, as no others were retained. (The balance of the Corton-Renardes vat was assembled with Corton- Bressandes, to constitute the classic, Corton Grand Cru Charlotte Dumay Cuvée).
This Corton-Renardes is ageing in a specially-commissioned, new oak barrel of the highest quality, whose staves were weathered for five years in the open air.
Colour is very deep, purple-ruby, the nose showing superb ripeness, with spicy fruits and great exuberance. The palate is richly structured, with sumptuous, dense fruitiness. It has great intensity, beautiful, well-ripened tannins, superb finesse on the finish and outstanding length.
This is a majestic wine, with a potential to gain spiciness, smoothness and complexity over 25 or more years. It is certainly one of the greatest Grands Crus of this magnificent 2015 vintage.
Please remember that the funds you send in exchange for superb wines will go to a very worthy cause. The proceeds of the auction go directly to Beaune’s modern hospital – which is now being extensively renovated and rebuilt – with its historic Hôtel-Dieu and ancient, beautiful buildings, artworks and museum.
We wish you great successes at the auction !
Anthony Hanson MW
Fri. 6th November 2015