This year's Hospices de Beaune auction will see the smallest ever quantity of Chablis put up for auction – just one and a half barrels, or 342 litres.
The tiny amount is the most obvious pointer yet to the dire effects of nature on the 2016 vintage, with frost, rain and hail reducing the appellation's production by around 50%.
Julien Brocard, whose house, Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard, has, for the second year running, put forward the only Chablis for purchase, said that the historically low volume 'reflects the harsh reality of the 2016 vintage in Chablis. What will no doubt remain in the collective memory about this year is the cruel suffering that Chablis endured in its very heart. That is the way of Nature, but we would much have preferred it otherwise.'
Jasper Morris MW from Christies described the Premier Cru la Côte de Léchet 2016 as showing 'bright fruit with some apple notes, after which the more classical marine mineral style of Chablis will develop during time in barrel. There is more white fruit on the palate, a silky texture and a fresh finish, beginning to show some mineral qualities.'
The Hospices de Beaune auction, organised by the auction house Christies, takes place on 20 November, with all proceeds of the wines sold going to charity.