The original, oldest and most prestigious wine auction in the world is the annual Hospices de Beaune wine auction, held on the 3rd Sunday of November each year. Comprised of the greatest collection of vineyards anywhere in Burgundy, the Domaine des Hospices de Beaune features many of the most iconic Appellations of both white & red Burgundy, from across the Cote de Beaune and the Cote de Nuits. It is unparalleled in Burgundy in its diversity of vineyard holdings, let alone the level of prestige of each of these individually. I attended the auctions again in 2017 and bid for my favourite Volnay 1er Cru : Les Santenots. Having gained experience at the Hospices auction covering 35 years, I have worked-out that with popular lots such as Volnay 1er Cru, it is best to avoid the initial and later bidding and to ride the risk towards the middle of the lots auctioned. Doing this, I was able to acquire this wine in barrel at an advantageous level and, to celebrate this, I had it bottled entirely in magnums and housed in wooden Hospices de Beaune cases. The wine itself is simply awesome and from a vintage which though young, is incredibly lithe, balanced and succulent. Its life is all far ahead and will age beautifully -I am currently drinking the much underrated 2011, also from Magnum, which is way too young but simply marvellous ! Volnay-Santenots has been a treasured vineyard since the earliest mentions of it in the 13th century. But if you want to find it on a map, don�t look in Volnay! The entire vineyard lies wholly in Meursault. But because Meursault is known primarily for its white wines, and the wines made in Les Santenots so closely resemble Volnay, a tradition cross-border courtesy remains. The vineyard that makes the Cuvee Gauvin sits on two named parcels: 0.72ha in Les Plures and 0.68ha in the superb Santenots du Milieu. It is one of the prides of the Hospices de Beaune. Very dense purple colour with a black centre. Really intense, yet showing exceptional balance, an extremely backward nose but the class exudes from the start. Some blackcurrant notes are tied in with fresh raspberries. A beautiful thread of seamless concentrated but not massive fruit, lovely integration with the acidity, pure and positive throughout. Dancing! Jasper Morris MW
Volnay 1er Cru Santenots 'Magnum'
- Hospices de Beaune