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Hail fails to dent Chablis 2015 vintage, say producers

Winemakers in Chablis have joined a chorus of those predicting a very good vintage across France in 2015, despite some producers being hit with a hailstorm on the eve of harvest.

The Chablis 2015 vintage started off well and it was soon apparent that an early 2015 wine harvest was on the cards after the vines flowered in early June, followed by a long, hot and dry July and August.

But, dreams of a good vintage were jeopardised by a hailstorm that hit several producers Chablis on the 1st September, just before the Chablis harvest.

The storm, passing along a narrow corridor from Irancy, through Chitry and Courgis and right up to the Colline des Grands Crus, affected more than 300 of the 5,400 hectares of the Chablis winegrowing region. The Climats of Les Clos, Blanchot and Montée de Tonnerre were worst hit.

The remaining fruit on the damaged plots was bought in quickly and, despite a few estates being hard hit, producers said losses were kept to a minimum, according to a vintage report from Burgundy wine council, the BIVB.

Jacques Lesimple, oenology advisor in Chablis, said that 2015 would be a very good vintage.

‘Some feared a lack of acidity but that’s not the case – very few wines lack vivacity. This 2015 vintage is a sunny one, which stands out for its fruitiness. It will give rise to wines that are very accessible for consumers. For me, it can be classified as a very good vintage.’

It is still early days, and a full assessment of the vintage cannot yet be made.

The Chablis 2015 harvest lasted two weeks. According to the BIVB, alcoholic fermentations produced fruity notes and it appears the 2015 vintage will be less saline and less chiselled in style than the 2014 vintage.

Chablis produced by Jean-Marc Brocard from the Premier Cru Côte de Léchet vineyard is set to become the first Chablis auctioned at the Hospices de Beaune auction later this month.

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