“Nothing makes the future look so rosy as to contemplate it through a glass of Chambertin.” said Napoleon.
Gevrey Chambertin is often called the King of Burgundy, not just because the emperor loved to drink fine Pinot Noir from this appellation, but also as time went on, their planting strategies evolved to next levels. Centuries of hard work has granted Gevrey Chambertin a renowned reputation and prominence in the world of Burgundy.
The origin of Gevrey-Chambertin
Gevrey-Chambertin is one of the most versatile village for producing high-quality Pinot Noir. The legend started in the 12th century when Monsieur Bertin planted Chambertin. His vineyard was called Champ de Bertin and later shortened to Chambertin. Pinot Noir is the only grape grown in Gevrey Chambertin and therefore the sole representative of this prestigious terroir. Their powerful yet elegant Pinot Noir has taken the wine industry by storm with ever-growing influence.
The impact of terroir & winemaker
Grapes grown in the same commune can be different even if they are sourced from Premier Cru or Grand Cru within the same year. For Gevrey Chambertin, a wide range of styles and qualities of wine can be found because there are different microclimates within the region and their amount of village classified land is incomparable; diversity of terroirs is the very reason why their wine can be exquisitely rich and powerful. Interestingly, even within the same Cru, wine styles can be different. The final product varies depending on each winemaker’s personality, philosophy and understanding of the land, resulting in feminine (elegant) or masculine (powerful) styles. Buyers need to understanding characteristic of terroirs in different Crus and knowing each winemaker’s craftsmanship are essential to finding your perfect Gevrey-Chambertin.
Let’s discover characteristics of the most famous Cru in Gevrey-Chambertin as below:
1) Chambertin & Clos de Beze
The two vineyards located in the heart of Gevrey vineyard. Clos de Beze has steeper slopes and therefore receives higher sun intensity comparing to Chambertin, which makes it easier for grapes to ripen and be harvested. Clos de Beze also has distinctive white limestone soil in their vineyard, which adds additional complexity and salinity to the wine. Clos de Beze usually lies between delicacy and power, while Chambertin is all about strength, structure and body. Exploring Domaine Rousseau would be the best way to differentiate between Clos de Beze and Chambertin as it produces wine from both regions. Rousseau wines are distinguished for showing their respect for nature, expressing knowledge on vine growing and letting the terroir speaks. After tasting, you will discover that their product from Clos de Bèze is elegant, silky and expressive, with red fruit, flower petal and underlying salinity from the soil on the finish; while their product from Chambertin is deep and powerful with dark and intense black fruit flavours and tannin.
2) Griotte Chambertin
Griotte Chambertin is the smallest Grand Cru in Gevrey. The name “Griotte” reminds us of the sour wild cherries used in cooking or preserves and it is one of the aromas we can find in the nose of Grand Cru. Griotte Chambertin has a relatively early maturing nature, making the wine elegant and contains slightly lower acidity than other Grand Crus in the neighbourhood. Joseph Drouhin Griotte Chambertin Grand Cru as one of the best wine in this Cru. The style is among the lightest of Gevrey Grand Cru, yet combination of character, balance and harmony with aromas of peonies and cherries. They adopted biological and biodynamic approach by using only natural products in vineyards, and all procedures are designed to show utmost respect for the soil, the vine and the environment.
3) Clos St Jacques
Clos Saint Jacques is one of the most well-known Premier Cru vineyards as it produces high quality wine that is comparable to Grand Cru for around 50% of the price. Clos Saint Jacques carries strong tannin, which is well integrated with the predominant nose of blackcurrant and brambly fruits. Domaine Fourrier believes wine works well with Mother Nature. They minimize human intervention to allow the vines, the terroir and the vintage to express themselves. They emphasis on de-budding to avoid green-harvesting, with no herbicides minimum spraying. Fourrier focuses on developing good root system in the vineyard to produce excellent flavours. Domaine Fourrier’s wines possess superb balance, powerful and intense yet enchanting elegance and pure expression of the terroir.