The Hospices de Beaune was originally founded in 1433 as a hospital for the poor. Domaine des Hospices de Beaune own several parcels, mostly grand crus and premier crus, acquired through donations. Since 1859, each year on the third Sunday of November the domaine auctions off its cuveés to négociants for charity.
Albert Bichot has been of the biggest buyers from the auctions for the past several years. They age the cuveés in their cellars in Beaune, under the supervision of chief winemaker Alain Serveau, who joined the domaine in '95, which also happens to be the vintage of this bottle.
This Savigny-les-Beaune 1er is a blend from four 1er cru vineyards: Les Basses-Vergelesses, Les Talmettes, Aux Gravains and Aux Serpentières. The cuveé is named after Denis-Antoine Fouquerand and his wife Charlotte Claudine who donated to the Hospice in 1832 and 1844.
Ochre-red pour. Jammy, concentrated fruit with some heft upfront, more earth on the mid-palate. Over the course of the night, the fruits gave way to dried fruits and the structured tannins began to open up to be more smooth.
The cork evoked memories of old teak wood furniture in a library full of musty books.
1995 saw poor weather, resulting in low yield, which (if you believe in the theory) may have led to more concentration. This wine is a good representation of what one might expect from this vintage. A very enjoyable wine.