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Volnay 1er Cru Blondeau, Hospices de Beaune 2016
Volnay 1er Cru Blondeau, Hospices de Beaune 2016
Volnay 1er Cru Blondeau, Hospices de Beaune 2016
Volnay 1er Cru Blondeau, Hospices de Beaune 2016

Volnay 1er Cru Blondeau, Hospices de Beaune 2016

A classic, beautifully made Burgundy - Click to find out more

light, elegant and intense with red cherry notes, aromas of perfumed violets and very fine tannins. An astonishingly stylish wine that is drinking perfectly now but would keep for a further 10 years if you can wait that long

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Low Stock

Wine at a glance

Colour glass of Red
Medium to Full Bodied
  • Bin no: 486334
  • Size: 75cl
  • Alc Vol: 13.50 %vol
  • Vintage: 2016
  • Closure: Cork
  • Grape: Pinot Noir
  • Region: Burgundy , France
  • Special Features: -
It is an offence to purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic liquor if you are under the age of 18

A brief history of the Hospice de Beaune

A hospital foundation from the Middle Ages, the Hospices de Beaune is one of France's most prestigious historic monuments.

In 1457, the first gift of a vineyard was presented to the Hospices de Beaune, and this tradition continued for another five centuries. Today, the wine estate is around 60 hectares including premier and grand crus. Every year since 1859 the hospital has held a wine auction to sell its fabulous wines. The sale, today organised by Christie's auction house, on the third Sunday in November is now the most famous wine charity auction in the world. The proceeds of the sale are used to improve the hospital's equipment and in the conservation of the Hôtel Dieu

Going once, going twice sold to Xenia Irwin MW

'That was a tremendous experience! I can't believe I have bought a barrel of wine, in fact I bought 2 barrels!

Let me take you back to the 3rd weekend in November 2016

'Pierpaolo Petrassi MW and Nick Room (Wine Buyer) and I travelled to Beaune in Burgundy to the historical hospital - sound like a strange place to buy wine from but this annual auction has happened every year since 1859.'

'The day before we tasted all the wines which were to be auctioned in the cellars below the winery. With Pierpaolo and Nick by my side to help with second opinion and generally using their vast knowledge of the category (with over 60 years combined experience in the trade - I know they don't look old enough) to build a plan.'

'We whittle it down to a handful we would like to bid on but the final decision comes down to me - which isn't just a privilege but fairly nerve-wracking stuff - luckily there is bidding support in the form of the charismatic and charming Louis Fabrice Latour from our agent Maison Louis Latour. I have worked with Louis Fabrice on a trial visit the year before and with his knowledge of the process, we plan our bidding campaign on our intended barrels'

'Louis Fabrice and Maison Louis Latour aren't just here to help with the bidding process they are our partners who will look after our barrels/wines at their vineyard/winery once we have been successful in buying a barrel.'

The Auction

'Tickets to the auction are like gold dust and only serious bidders, Press and honoured guests are allowed in to this slightly too small hall next to the Hospice itself. I am honoured and privileged to be able to sit with Louis Fabrice during the bidding process (Waitrose aren't their only customer today) on the proviso I sit on my hands and don't suddenly jump out of my seat with ludicrous bids I need to do something with my hands, so what better way to capture this first for Waitrose & Partners but film the experience'

We won!

After an incredibly tense few minutes with much-muttered consultation, the first barrel is ours - The Pommard takes a winning bid of 12,000 euros followed by the Volnay at 10,500 euros

A final word from Xenia

'Buying wine like this has been an amazing experience for me and the rest of the Waitrose & Partners buying team, I can't express how wonderful these wines are and how privileged I am to have been involved with the buying and being involved in final finishing of these wines. They will make a stunning addition to anyone's wine collection or if you are a first timer and want to own a small piece of wine history these are the wines for you'

'Squirrel the Pommard away for a few years and reap the rewards of this rich, powerful Burgundy with silky tannins. The Volney is just ethereal - the taste of snow on angels wings - a ridiculous tasting note, but that is the best way to describe this beauty. Drink now or keep, whatever you do, you won't be disappointed - these wine are the epitome of Burgundy'

Will you do it again?

'In a heartbeat, in fact, we already have. I went back in both 2017 and 2018 and purchased 3 barrels each year so we have more wines quietly maturing in Beaune awaiting their release in 2020 and 2021.. And what is even more exciting is that the now empty 2016 barrels, will be used in one of my other projects 'On the QT' so keep your eyes peeled'

Xenia Irwin MW, Partner & Wine Buyer