The Climats of Burgundy to represent France for UNESCO World Heritage
The Climats are the special guests of honour for the 2012 Saint Vincent Tournante in Burgundy this week. In time to celebrate, President Sarkozy has nominated the ‘Climats of the Vineyards of Burgundy’ to represent France in the final international stage towards UNESCO world heritage listing.
The announcement last Friday evening followed the appearance of the French Minister of Agriculture Bruno Le Maire wearing the green Climats support badge in Beaune the day before.
The Ministers of Ecology Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet and Culture Frédéric Mitterrand declared that “‘The Climats of the Vineyards of Burgundy’ are cultural landscapes with their clos, their drystone walls, their characteristic buildings, shared between the towns of Dijon and Beaune. The product of man’s secular work has created detailed fragments, passing down a history shaped by political and religious institutions (Ducal Palace in Dijon, Hospice de Beaune), these vineyards are reflected in many ‘lieux-dits’ whose boundaries are represented by walls of a rare landscape quality. The prestige, diversity and finesse of the wines radiate the landscape and the French art of living radiates with the world.”
The Climats application has been forwarded to the UNESCO international selection committee. A decision should be made by the end of June 2012 in Saint Petersburg, Russia for listing in July 2013.
Aubert de Villain, President of the Association of Climats today said that being selected as a national candidate is a successful team effort. “It is with great thanks that I would like to speak to each and every one of you, nearly 40,000 supporters, who believed and continue to believe in the legitimacy of this application.”
Representing a modified dossier from their first attempt in 2009, The Landscapes of Champagne were unsuccessful again as candidates in the same Cultural Heritage category as the Climats of Burgundy.
The region of Prosecco has been selected by the Italian government, now in the same international bid as Burgundy for UNESCO listing.
Christies Paris Hospices de Beaune Press conference coordinates well with the nearby Paris Fashion Week each year.
As fashion model and muse, and a member of the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Inés de la Fressange is a perfectly fitting Président of the Hospices de Beaune Wine Auction for 2011.
Inés is supporting the young and the old at heart, to create and preserve memories, by sponsoring the associations Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque (patron of heart surgery for children) and France Alzheimer.
Inés loves the idea of the beauty, generosity, quality, creativity and talent shared between Burgundy and heart surgeons. “Heart surgery and hospitalisation, like Grands Crus wines, is very expensive. … And wine is good for the heart”, as a preventative for cardiovascular disease and hopefully the onset of Alzheimer’s.
Last year the Association Climats de les Vignobles de Bourgogne for UNESCO heritage listing was supported by the Hospices de Beaune Auction. This year, the successfully UNESCO listed French Gastronomy as an immaterial heritage, celebrating the nuances of eating and drinking wine as a work of art, is at the heart of the wine auction.
The restauraunt Troisgros at Roanne has been selected to represent the gastronomy of France. Michel Troisgros has adapted six classic dishes to match six Hospices de Beaune wines. Troisgros has three michelin stars, three members and three generations of the family, and three different styles of cuisines they follow: freshness, lightness and harmony.
With this match of food and wine, complex and classic plates have been created, retouched to season with the late Autumn Hopsices de Beaune auction.
The six wines were served after the press conference, with cheese, however each matched wine and dish (with explanation to be added) is cited below:
Pouilly Fuissé 2008
Cépes bouchons “saltimboca” à la sauge
Meursault Charmes 2008
Sole en filet, fleurette à la ciboulette
Corton Charlemagne 2007
Dialogue entre lapin, langoustine et menthe
Pommard Epenots 2007
Hommard bleu et civet de baies rouges
Mazis Chambertin 2002
Pigeonneau et foir gras frits à la Kiev, jus reglissé
Liévre en effilochade, le râble en aiguillettes, poivré
45 cuvées will be auctioned in Beaune on 20 November – 32 red and 13 white wines totalling approximately 750 Burgundy barrels of 228 litres are for sale.
Rolande Masse, Director of the Hospices de Beaune vineyards and wines, is very optimistic for the vintage 2011. Following an abnormal vegetal rhythm in Spring and Summer, the third very early season within a decade, he explained that the three vintages 2003 (finished harvest 20 August), 2007 (finished harvest beginning of September) and 2011 are completely different.
2011 was harvested in beautiful conditions, with ripe but not excessive grape maturity. Masse is very happy with the especially ripe and healthy white grapes, “magnificent, with excellent acidity, absolutely exceptional, balanced and great ageing potential.” However, he added that it is too early to tell how long they will keep, but reinforced that it is a very good white wine year.
The red wines are showing surprisingly well. With good pips and skin maturity, the grapes had good phenologic ripeness and preserved acidity. After heavy summer rain, dilution was a concern, however maturity, structure and colour were not affected. It may be a year of earlier consumption for the red wines, but with good balance and more supple tannins than 2004, Masse gave an early prediction of a drinking window of 20 to 25 years.
Masse said that although malic acid levels are not high, the malolactic fermentation should proceed rapidly and earlier than usual.
Anthony Hanson MW admitted that he had been worried when he arrived in Burgundy at beginning of harvest, but was relieved to see that the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay had resisted the summer storms he had witnessed from England. Flowering was successful in very good hot and dry conditions during Spring and the grapes developed well. However, one hundred days later after the wet and cool summer, a severe triage was necessary in the vineyards and wineries to select the mature, concentrated grapes and eliminate any potential rot. The resulting wines are concentrated, well structured, with supple tannins and texture.
Hanson is also optimistic for a good range of prices from the large selection of wines for sale, from potentially good value Premier Cru reds, to excellent quality Grand Crus whites.
Burgundy charity wine auctions in Paris raise close to 120,000€ for Japan
The Ambassador of Japan M. Yasuo Saito, a Chevalier du Tastevin, introduced Acte I of the sale at the Hotel Bristol on Wednesday night.
In an act of “solidarity, generosity and sharing” 2,300 bottles of wine were donated directly from the cellars of domaines, merchant houses and cooperatives in Burgundy.
Sophie Meunier, President of the association Mosaique Bourgogne International said “Wine has no borders and its conviviality is consumed without moderation …”
The lots that raised the most excited bidding at Le Bristol, at relatively moderate prices, were Coche-Dury Meursault 2009 two bottles for 380€, Clos de Tart 2007 magnum 300€, Armand Rousseau Charmes Chambertin 2007 6 bottles 600€, Ramonet Montrachet 2008 jerobaum at 1,800€, and for 1000€ Maison Louis Jadot Chambertin Grand Cru 1947 magnum.
Acte II continued at Christie’s last night.
Three magnums of Comtes Lafon Volnay 1er Cru Santenots-du Milieu 2005 sold for 480€, twelve bottles of Maison Champy Corton-Charlemagne 2009 1,400€, a trilogy of A. F. Gros Richebourg 2006, 2007 and 2008 for 750€, and twelve bottles of Comte Georges de Vogüé Musginy Vieilles Vignes three each of 2006, 2007 and 2008 for 5,500€.
The two highest selling single bottles were Dujac Clos de la Roche 1978 at 8,500€ and DRC Romanée Conti 1971 13,000€.
Successful bidders included Laurent Brelin of the Caves Madeleine restaurant in Beaune, Philippe Séré proprietor of the cave and bar Ambassade de Bourgogne in Paris, and George Dos Santos the Flying Sommelier of Antic Wine shop in Lyon. The wives of Brelin and Séré are both Japanese, and helped organize the charity wine auction with Mosaique Bourgogne. Brelin will keep the three lots he bought at the Bristol for his private cellar rather than his restaurant cave.
Séré bought many lots at Christie’s for his personal and boutique cellars. Dos Santos will keep some of the wines for his private cellar, include a few in his wine shop, but he has already organized to sell on certain bottles donating the profits for ongoing aid to Japan.
Anthony Hanson MW, senior wine consultant at Christie’s was very pleased with the prices and 21,000€ raised at Le Bristol sale, and his hopes for even more bidding and better results at the second auction at Christie’s realized 75,130€.
The lots 672 to 739 added to the annual September Christie’s Fine Wine auction, had special conditions of sale including no buyers premium and no reserve prices, to benefit Mosaique Bourgogne International.
Mosaique had already raised 23,400€ from an on-line sale last June, the total including the 21,000€ and 60,000 from the Paris auctions is now more than 119,500€ for the Japanese Red Cross.
Paris 23 September 2011