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DRC, Leflaive & Comtes Lafon join forces for Montrachet 2016

A dire shortage of grapes has prompted six prominent Burgundy wineries to say they will jointly produce a Montrachet Grand Cru white wine from the 2016 vintage.

Lasting damage from devastating frosts in April have decimated yields across much of Burgundy in the 2016 harvest.

This week, it emerged that some of the region’s most prestigious names would pool grapes to make a special barrel of 2016 Montrachet Grand Cru.

Those involved include Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (DRC), Domaine des Comtes Lafon, Domaine Leflaive, Domaine Guy Amiot et Fils, Domaine Lamy-Pillot and Domaine Fleurot Larose have decided to co-vinify the grapes that they have left.

They aim to produce two 228-litre barrels of Montrachet Grand Cru, a wine known as the ‘king of white Burgundy’.

These six properties share just 1.25 hectares of the 7.9 hectare Grand Cru that lies between Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet.

The low yields in 2016 mean that even by vinifying together they will only produce 600 bottles of wine – around one-tenth of the production that they could normally expect.

Individually, none of the producers have enough grapes to fill an entire barrel.

Following a suggestion from Dominique Lafon and DRC’s Aubert de Villaine, the grapes from the six plots were bought for an equal price by Domaine Leflaive’s négociant house.

They will be vinified and aged in Leflaive’s cellars. Once bottled, the wine will be evenly split between the six properties.

But, there are legal hurdles ahead. French fiscal and appellation rules ban estates from sharing grapes.

‘The wine will of course be a Montrachet Grand Cru because it is legitimately issued from that terroir, but we are currently applying to the French administration for the right to [sell it],’ Brice de la Morandière, of Domaine Leflaive, told Decanter.com.

‘If we are granted the right, each estate will be able to use its own usual label and sell the wine’.

If officials do not grant permission, the bottles will instead only be available for private tastings at the estates for clients and friends.

More 2016 wine harvest news:

Burgundy 2016 harvest: ‘Every grape counts’

Growers prepare for 'tricky' Burgundy harvest...

Burgundy hit by ‘worst frost since 1981’

Worst frost in 30 years may hit 2016 harvest.

Photos: California wine harvest gallery 2016

See our pick of the best photos of the 2016 wine harvest in California...

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