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Waitrose Cellar buys up barrels from historic wine auction

Published:  06 December, 2016

Waitrose wine buyers have bolstered their premium offering by buying two barrels of rare wine at the historic annual Hospices de Beaune auction.

The barrels, which contain Pommard Premier Cru Cuvée Dames de la Charité 2016 and Volnay Premier Cuvée Blondeau 2016, will now be aged in Beaune for up to 18 months, before being sold on Waitrose Cellar.

Each barrel will provide Waitrose with around 288 bottles of very rare Premier Cru red Burgundy.

This marks the first time Waitrose has purchased wine from the auction, which took place in France last week.

Xenia Irwin MW, Waitrose wine buyer explained what informed their buying decisions: "We are thrilled to have come away from the prestigious Hospices de Beaune auction with two barrels after months of careful planning and research; it's something we are extremely proud of.

"The day before the auction we tasted the individual barrels in the Hospices Cellars and we are extremely pleased with the quality of the wines we have bought. The barrel maturation period and therefore timing of the wine's launch will be established in the coming months, but this is an incredibly exciting development for us as a wine buying team."

Waitrose is one of only three UK wine merchants to have purchased wine at the auction this year, which is in its 156th year.

The historic annual event brings to market the wines from the Hospices' own premium Burgundian vineyards bequeathed by landowners over many centuries, with the sale proceeds raising money for local charities and medical research.