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Hospices de Beaune defies odds with 2016 auction line-up

Hospices de Beaune has shrugged off concerns over bad weather during the Burgundy 2016 growing season to announce that it will field more lots in its 2016 auction than it did last year.

The Hospices de Beaune 2016 auction will include 596 barrels, 21 more than in 2015, organisers said this week.

It’s increase in lots will come as a surprise to some following dire weather in Burgundy during the past year, including the area’s worst frost for 35 years.

Hospices de Beaune said it was able to put forward so many 228-litre barrels for its 156th auction because of the size and breadth of its vineyard estate. It has 60 hectares to pick from and vineyards are well spread out, it said.

Its vineyard teams also worked especially hard in June to prevent mildew compounding problems left by frost earlier in the year, according to Jasper Morris MW and Ludivine Griveau, Christie’s wine consultant and Hospices winemaker respectively.

Christie’s will host the Hospices de Beaune 2016 auction as part of the annual Hospices festival on the weekend of 18, 19 and 20 November. The event offers critics a first opportunity to taste the new vintage in its embryonic form.

This year’s ‘presidents barrel’ – normally the top lot in the auction and for which proceeds will go to chosen charities – will be a Corton Bressandes Grand Cru.

Burgundy 2016: What we know so far

It’s a year when several top estates, including DRC, Leflaive and Comtes Lafon, have agreed to jointly make a Montrachet Grand Cru due to the scarcity of grapes.

And police have reported a rise in grape thefts during harvest.

But, it’s a complicated picture, as William Kelley said in his Burgundy 2016 harvest report on Decanter.com. Some areas, as ever, will have more wine than others.

Related content:

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.

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