wine-searcher.com / Gevrey-Chambertin Wine
Gevrey-Chambertin – a village in Burgundy’s Cote de Nuits district – produces some of the world’s most prestigious and expensive red wines. The village is home to nine Grand Cru vineyards, comfortably more than any other Burgundy village (the nearest contender is Vosne-Romanee). Eight of these feature ‘Chambertin’ somewhere in their name, in homage to the most respected among them: Le Chambertin.
Although the Grand Cru wines attract the most attention, those made under the village’s standard Gevrey-Chambertin appellation are held in very high regard. Just like their big Grand Cru brothers, all Gevrey-Chambertin wines are made almost exclusively from Pinot Noir. Widely regarded as being Burgundy’s most full-bodied and masculine, the village’s wines have a particular intensity of color, aroma and flavor about them, not to mention impressive longevity. Well-made examples can develop in the bottle for several decades. These qualities, combined with the village’s solid reputation and relatively large production volumes, have earned Gevrey-Chambertin a reputation as the ‘king’ of Burgundy wines.
(© BIVB / Joly M.)
The Grand Cru vineyards lie just to the south of the village, on the mid-slopes of the Cote d’Or escarpment. These nine distinct climats, each with its own appellation, collectively occupy a 1640ft-wide (500m) belt between the village and its boundary with Morey-Saint-Denis. The Grand Cru climats produce the commune’s most expensive wines. The Premier Cru vineyards are located just west of the village, on the higher slopes of the Cote d’Or, at elevations of 820–1150ft (250–350m). The most respected of these are Clos Saint-Jacques and Les Cazetiers, both of which are regularly cited as being of Grand Cru quality. To the east and north lie the swathes of village-level vineyards, which produce more wine each year than almost any other Cote d’Or commune.
The Gevrey-Chambertin appellation covers well over two million bottles of wine per vintage, produced from 1075 acres (435ha) of vineyards. This figure includes all premier cru wines, but not the grand cru wines, which have their own separate appellations. For an explanation of the Burgundy appellation system, and the terms ‘village’, ‘premier cru’ and ‘grand cru’, see Burgundy Wine Labels.
Among the most respected producers of Gevrey-Chambertin wines are Domaine Armand Rousseau, Domaine Fourrier, Domaine Leroy and Domaine Trapet Pere et Fils. Naturally the large negociant houses have not failed to include the village in their holdings; the portfolios of Louis Jadot and Domaine Faiveley both feature a Chambertin Grand Cru wine, several premier cru wines and an ‘entry-level’ village wine.
The village was originally called just Gevrey, but in 1847 the parish council added the name of the most prestigious local vineyard, Le Chambertin. This started a trend that ran the length of the Cote d’Or’s, right down to the ‘Montrachets’ (Puligny and Chassagne) in the south.
There are now 11 Cote d’Or villages whose names refer to their most prestigious vineyard site. An obvious example is Gevrey’s near-neighbor, Chambolle-Musigny, whose greatest vineyard is Le Musigny. If Gevrey-Chambertin is Burgundy’s ‘king’, then Chambolle-Musigny, whose wines are tangibly more feminine in style, is almost certainly its queen. See Chambolle-Musigny.