The Hospices de Beaune at the Hôtel-Dieu was founded in 1443 and is regarded as the world’s first modern hospital. Today, the iconic Burgundian building bears name to the important charity wine…

The Hospices de Beaune at the Hôtel-Dieu was founded in 1443 and is regarded as the world’s first modern hospital. Today, the iconic Burgundian building bears name to the important charity wine auction held in November each year. The auction offers unique parcels of enchanting Burgundies and also provides an indication of global fine wine prices.

We are delighted to offer a stash of incredible, mature Burgundies bought by the late Paul Bouchard during his partnership with Peter Finlayson. The five wines are delightfully mature and offer a haunting array of flavour and savoury intrigue. They are all composed and ethereal with different levels of power and finesse. See below for notes and drinking dates.

Due to the nature of Burgundy, its intricate vineyard parcels and small domaines, vintage wines are extremely difficult to find. It is only when you drink mature Burgundies that you can fully understand why Burgundy has risen to such heights. Having been stored at Bouchard Finlayson since release, these offer an unbelievable opportunity to drink mature Burgundy at today’s release prices. Fill your boots!

Tasting notes:

Each Hospices de Beaune wine is dedicated to the characters that shaped Burgundy. They are all produced from the 60ha owned by the Hospices.

Hospices de Beaune, Savigny-Les-Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Fouquerand 1995 – R 600 
This little hamlet north-west of Beaune produces excellent value, textured reds. Not surprisingly, this is the most mature of the line-up. Decant it off the sediment and give it 30 minutes to unfold. It is delicate and closed at first, blossoming into a grand old lady with time. Perfumed, soft and savoury, there is a good acidity that carries a pure, sweet-fruited finish. Wonderful balance and fantastic drinking. Drink now to 2020. – Roland Peens (April 2018)

Denis-Antoine Fouquerand and his wife Claudine left legacies to the Hospices in 1832 and 1844. The wine coming from the Basses Vergelesses was withdrawn from the Cuvée in 2009 in favour of finer vines in Les Talmettes, dating from 1965 and 1966, Gravains, planted in 1958 and Serpentières in 1997. The Cuvée is made up of some of the most reputed vineyards of Savigny, on the slopes facing south. – Hospices de Beaune

Hospices de Beaune, Pommard Cuvée Billardet 1996 – R 850 
1996 was a superb vintage, with great structure and acidity, and the Pommard is in an amazing sweet spot. Dark fruits, roast meats, floral and earthy notes display an incredible complexity and depth. A lovely line of acidity carries red berry fruit and fine length. Just sumptuous. Drink now to 2022. – Roland Peens (April 2018)

This Cuvée is part of the most-esteemed Pommards of the Domaine des Hospices. 87% of its vines were planted in 1988 or before, going back to 1960 and 1954 for the oldest amongst them. In addition, 35% of the Cuvée comes from Premier Cru Les Arvelets whose vines have an average age of more than 24 years. – Hospices de Beaune

Hospices de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Hugues et Louis-Bétalt 1997 – R 800 
This is riper than the 2001 but shows a similar complexity and depth. The nose is rich, offering dark fruit, smoke and black olive. It is lush and round with a lower acidity, offering amazing drinkability and joy. Decant for 30 minutes and enjoy. Drink to 2022. – Roland Peens (April 2018)

A Squire and Counsellor-Secretary of the King of France, Hugues Bétault saved the Hôtel-Dieu from ruin when wars and epidemics were raging in the XVIIth Century. He had a light and airy infirmary built and acquired land that was transformed into gardens and a vegetable plot. After his disappearance, his brother Louis made in turn several generous donations to the Hospices. This Premier Cru Cuvée is made up of nearly 40% Beaune-Grèves, planted in 1961. It also includes a quarter hectare of Beaune Clos des Mouches Premier Cru, planted in 1955. – Hospices de Beaune

Hospices de Beaune, Volnay 1er Cru Cuvée Blondeau 1999 – R 900 
This is a dark, rich and brooding wine from a great vintage and is the most impressive of the line-up. Slight reduction slowly blows off to reveal fine, savoury undertones and plush fruit. Forest floor, cured meats and wet earth show good complexity. Mature, but powerful with a fine acidity and evident tannins, this will age well for another decade. Drink to 2030. – Roland Peens (April 2018)

The composition of the Cuvée should not leave wine lovers indifferent: the wine is made up of 70% of Champans and Taille Pieds, planted between 1952 and 1989. Les Ronceret planted in 1961 and Mitans planted between 1955 and 1972 make up the rest. – Hospices de Beaune

Hospices de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru Cuvée Rousseau-Deslandes 2001 – R 800 
A spell-binding wine from a good vintage that offers magically pure fruit and savoury intrigue. Classic Burgundy with perfumed red berries, forest floor and truffles. Freshly elegant and still showing some tannin, it will drink well for another decade. Drink to 2028. – Roland Peens (April 2018)

Antoine Rousseau and Barbe Deslandes founded in 1645 the Hôpital de la Sainte-Trinité, subsequently renamed the Hospice de la Charité and associated with the Hospices de Beaune at the Revolution. Its vocation has widely evolved through time: initially a gathering point for orphans following consecutive plague epidemics, it today shelters a care centre for old people. The parcel of Cent Vignes, in which vines where mainly planted between 1944 and 1958, represents the heart of this Cuvée, or 48% of its composition. Looking down over Pommard and representing a third of the Cuvée, the parcel of Les Montrevenots is made up only of old vines, planted prior to 1966. – Hospices de Beaune

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