Experience the great wines of Hospices de Beaune with Anima Vinum – 163rd Wine Auction
In our first email introducing the vintage (31 October), we pointed out some of the special characteristics of the 2023 vintage: from meteorological events to prudent cultivation decisions taken by Ludivine Griveau (manager of the Hospices de Beaune domaine).
We presented you with the aesthetic profile of the wines from this vintage, along with some of the high points of our tastings.
You can find that introductory article on our blog :
In this second edition, we’ll give our view of market conditions, our goals for the auction this coming Sunday, and divulge the cuvées that have definitively captured our attention and which will be the focus of our bidding.
Commercially speaking, 2023 was a good year for Burgundy wines. We are all only-too-aware of the very unsettled global geopolitical context, including conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, and last winter’s energy crisis. All remain sources of concern.
Burgundy stocks are at an all-time low everywhere, following the spring frost of 2021 that decimated the harvest. Deliveries of the abundant 2022 vintage have come as a welcome relief, with everyone in the wine trade eager to replenish their stocks.
The inevitable question: will these wines in stock with professionals worldwide, whose prices have further increased, be easily resold to consumers?
The 2023 vintage, which does not benefit from the same acclaim as its predecessor, may not see as high ratings from Parker and others that spur demand.
Major currencies have seen significant swings over the past year vis-à-vis the euro:
Yen: -10% , USD: -3%, CNY: -6%, Ruble: -37%
Major foreign buyers will be less favored by their currencies compared to the 2022 sale.
Faced with a global economic slowdown and reduced consumption of red wines (-4.5%) on the one hand, and very significant price increases of the 2022 vintage on the other, wine professionals are expecting a decrease in prices at the upcoming Hospices auction.
We are fully expecting a drop in prices: for the reds more so than for the whites.
The wines up for auction on 19 November 2023:
52 cuvées in total, represented by 754 barrels (not including spirits)
- Although 2023 could be described as “heterogeneous,” this vintage again offers consistently high quality: few cuvées are not worthy of purchase, in our opinion.
2) Quality is indeed very high and exceeds the overall standards in Burgundy for the year: the whites of Hospices de Beaune will be round, generous, and very pure. However, they will roam rather far from the classic Burgundian character: the acidities are too low for that, and the aromatics are often marked by exotic fruits. The balances that we appreciate in our wines are less prominent: on several occasions during my tastings, the whites reminded me of those from 2003.
3 or 4 cuvées among the whites, with a very expressive terroir, fully deserve our attention – but only if we can acquire them for the right price.
The more I taste the 2023 cuvées of the Hospices, the more the reds excite me! It is clear to me that Ludivine Griveau has “outperformed” the vintage with the reds. They are indulgent, round, silky, and very fruity (50 shades of cherries!).
Since my first tasting at the end of October, I have become convinced that it is the reds that deserve our focus this year!
3)The strategy of parcel-based vinification is paying off!
Each micro-climate is vinified separately from the others. This approach has been used in Burgundy more generally, but with the Hospices wines – where many blends result from the union of multiple climates – this has not always been the case in the past. Ludivine Griveau has clearly settled the matter now for several years running: parcel-based vinification is used exclusively, even if there is blending in the end: we gain in expression, in typicity, and in precision.
Our strategy and the cuvées on which we plan on bidding:
The average price per barrel has increased by nearly 100% in five years: we consider this rise to be unsustainable and contrary to market conditions. This year, it is our intention to purchase only cuvées that see a decline in prices and to adopt a wait-and-see strategy.
It is not at all unlikely, in our view, that we may benefit from price drops of 15 to 20% from the “hammer” prices on the red cuvées that are otherwise highly distinguished.
Keep in mind that even if the average barrel price falls by 20%, total sales of the auction will still be the second-highest of all time!
Here, then, are the cuvées on which we propose bidding:
Instructions on how to participate as a co-buyer with ANIMA VINUM, a leading specialist in artisanal wines, at the Hospices de Beaune wine auction
We’re only 4 days away from the auction, and this is the time for you to let us know of your intention to participate in the sale as a co-buyer. You may subscribe for as many bottles as you wish, in multiples of 6 bottles (or its equivalent – 3 magnums or 1 Jeroboam) for each cuvée in which you intend to participate.
We will accept your subscriptions up to the moment the auction starts, i.e. 2:00 PM CET on 19 Novembre 2023. Starting Monday 20 November, we will confirm with you the actual price obtained at auction: in no case will this exceed the maximum price given above in this document.
In the event that the cuvée in question could not be acquired at or below the target price, you are free to cancel that item or transfer your subscription for this item to other cuvées that we have obtained. Your subscription will be considered validated upon receipt of your payment, corresponding to the total amount for the wines including tax and excluding possible shipping costs.
Prior to delivery of your wines at the end of 2025, it is possible that a balance of a few dozen cents per bottle may be invoiced. This represents possible price increases in dry materials (bottle, cork, wax, labels, wooden cases, etc.) that are currently not within our range of visibility today. Of course, we strive to estimate our prices as accurately as possible.
In choosing to partner with ANIMA VINUM, you are sharing our artisanal vision for wines that authentically embody their terroir: long aging with minimal intervention, hand-bottling for the reds, premium dry materials (corks dried in the Tramontane for 15 to 18 months, washed without peroxide or chemical solvents, guaranteed to have no cork taste, wooden crates, heavy bottles, hand-waxed magnums, custom Hospices labels that include a name of the buyer’s choice, etc.).
You will be invited to Burgundy in spring 2024 for a mid-aging barrel tasting of the cuvées you’ve subscribed with us.
Your wines will be deliverable at the end of 2025, after payment of any balance (possible increases in dry-material costs as mentioned above, and shipping if applicable), except for cuvées requiring longer aging.