Back Linden & The Lockdown, part 4: The Hospices de Beaune

Published on 28 April, 2020

© Linden Wilkie, 28th April, 2020

Entering my fifth week of lockdown in New Zealand… at last! A care package has arrived from The Fine Wine Experience in Hong Kong. I wasted no time, opening up the first set of three bottles – and today’s topic is the Hospices de Beaune.

In the video I explain some of the background, process, and reasons for buying wines from the Hospices de Beaune, and taste three wines we have bought from this domaine and charity.

Each year it is possible through us to buy a quarter barrel share (72 bottles) of an Hospice de Beaune wine, and we customise the official label to commemorate your wedding, birth of a child, group of friends, business – including logo, on the official label. And we work with Burgundy’s best domaines for the élévage – their name also appears on the label.

2017 Hospices de Beaune, Corton Blanc Grand Cru ‘Cuvée Docteur Peste’
Cuvée: From the lieu-dit ‘les Fiètres’ within the red-wine dominated holdings in Corton Grand Cru. Jean-Louis Peste was a doctor at the Hospices de Beaune in the 19th century, and his daughter left a large bequest to the Hospices in his memory.
Élévage: Etienne de Montille of Domaine de Montille

My Tasting Note Today: Lovely ripe orchard pear note and something saline, mineral; mouth-filling, full with good weight and fruit concentration, juicy acidity and a saline, tangy note. This wine will age, but it’s delicious now. It will work well with grander poultry and fish dishes, having both the weight and the acidity to ‘cut’ a creamy sauce.
2017 Hospices de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru ‘Cuvée Dames Hospitalières’
Cuvée: From 1er Cru vineyards ‘La Mignotte’, ‘Les Bressande’s, ‘Les Teurons’ in Beaune. Named in honour of the nuns who nursed those under the care of the Hôtel-Dieu.
Élévage: Etienne de Montille of Domaine de Montille. Label features a Rooster motif for 2017 – Chinese Year of the Rooster.

My Tasting Note Today: Noticeably deep colour; dark fruits and spices, a note coming through from the new barrel; rich fruit, really lush and mouth-coating, very fruity and long on the finish. This will age further, but I love the generous fruit expression and would happily drink this now with a roast leg of lamb.
2016 Hospices de Beaune, Beaune 1er Cru ‘Cuvée Maurice Drouhin’
Cuvée: From 2.69 hecatres of 1er Cru vineyards ‘Les Avaux’, ‘Les Champs Pimont’, ‘Les Boucherottes’, ‘Les Grèves’, donated by Maurice Drouhin of Maison Joseph Drouhin. He was Administrator of the Hospices de Beaune during World War Two, and was secretly aiding the French Resistance. Tipped off just in time that the Gestapo were about to arrest him in June 1944, he fled through the cellars at Drouhin in Rue d’Enfer, and through a secret exit into the Rue Paradis, escaped into the Hôtel-Dieu, where the mother superior hid him, until the French Liberation three months later. Each year Maison Joseph Drouhin is the principal buyer at auction, but in 2016 we liked this wine so much we bought two barrels… giving them to Drouhin to tend and bottle for us.
My Tasting Note Today: lighter in colour; very bright and airy on the nose with red fruits and floral, very layered, airy, filigree tannins, red fruit, not a great deal of weight, but a great deal of length and persistence. This is a very fine, very high class red Burgundy. It’s hard to resist now, but I get the sense that is will age well for ten to twenty more years.