Seven owners of Montrachet grand cru vineyard plots, including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Leflaive and Domaine Comtes Lafon, have sold just under 600 bottles of a unique blend that combines their 2016 harvests, entitled ‘L’Exceptionnelle Vendange des 7 Domaines’, or ‘The exceptional harvest of 7 Domains’.
Burgundy’s worst frost for decades meant that none of the seven had enough grapes to make Montrachet grand cru individually in the 2016 vintage.
Two barrels, one new and the other a year old, were used to age their collective 2016 harvests for 18 months at Domaine Leflaive in Puligny.
No more than 683 bottles from a total harvest of 822 kilos of grapes were filled in late May.
Each property has sold the wine, priced at €5,550 (£4,928.30) per bottle in bond.
‘We tasted it last month and it is really excellent,’ said Brice de la Morandière, director at Domaine Leflaive, but he added, ‘We hope however to never have to do this again.’
None of the estates involved wanted to reveal the names of the buyers.
‘They are great connoisseurs whom we know for the most part personally,’ said de la Morandière.
The seven, out of 17, owners of Montrachet vine plots could not make wine individually because it would have been ‘impractical’, said Stéphane Thibodaux, of Domaine Comtes Lafon.
‘Our press is made for 3,500 to 4,000 kilos of harvested grapes, but we only picked 167 kilos,’ he said.
No special instructions were needed for the winemaking, ‘as we trusted Domaine Leflaive, and in particular Pierre Vincent, who leads the winemaking there’, he added.
The bottle labels include the Montrachet appellation name, plus the names of all seven producers, and are numbered.
Of the seven, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti harvested the most grapes, at 337 kilos – enough for 280 bottles.
Comtes Lafon had enough for 139 bottles, with Domaine Guy Amiot at 71 bottles, Domaine Leflaive 57 bottles and Domaine Fleurot-Larose at 46. Domaine Lamy-Pillot and Claudine Petijean each harvested enough grapes to make 45 bottles.
Sixteen bottles will be sold for an as-yet undetermined charity, Thibodaux said, with nearly 100 more to be kept by the estates for special tastings or for their own historical collections.