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One of France’s most prestigious historic monuments, this stunning, gothic-style hospital was built in 1443 for the poor and disadvantaged. A few years later in 1457, the first gift of a vineyard was presented to the Hospices as a thank you from Guillemette Levernier – he established a tradition that continued among local benefactors for five centuries. Today, the hospital owns 60 hectares of some of Burgundy's most prized premier and grand cru vineyards, looked after by 22 winemakers.
What is Hospices de Beaune wine?
From 1859, an auction of the wines produced each year was held in the hospital to raise funds for equipment and the conservation of its buildings. The sale, always held on the third Sunday in November, is now organised by Christie's and has become the most famous wine charity auction in the world, with the Domaines des Hospices' 50 wines sold in their vintage year 'en primeur' (as futures).
Working with famed Burgundy producer Louis Latour, Waitrose Cellar’s wine buyer and Master of Wine, Xenia Ruscombe-King explores the rows of barrels and tastes each year’s vintage… and then the bidding begins.
How did it get here?
The barrels that Xenia successfully won from the 2017 auction all came close to her personal measure of the ultimate red Burgundy: "It should taste like the fleeting snow on angels’ wings. These three did a pretty good job of achieving that, but were a touch more down to Earth.”
These barrels then gently flew off to the hallowed cellars of Louis Latour where they matured over the next 18 months, under the watchful eye of winemaker Jean Charles Thomas. When he gave the word, bottling began in late spring 2018 and the wine arrived in the UK in winter 2018. These special, rare, top-end Burgundies are now ready for you to enjoy...