There are nine Grand Cru vineyards, twenty-six Premier Crus and countless other terroirs of fine quality in Gevrey-Chambertin.. Gevrey-Chambertin is frequently thought of as the "King of Burgundy" - a fitting description, as its wines have unquestionable concentration and strength while maintaining their regal Pinot character. Gevery-Chambertin tends toward darker fruits and power, with tannins that are more sophisticated than wines of other villages (which at times sacrifice grace when achieving extraction). Styles do vary - some favoring black fruits and gamey qualities and others favoring purer, redder fruits and more subtlety. In either case, Gevrey-Chambertin is arguably the finest example of the surprising intensity that Pinot Noir can achieve in the most special terroirs.
The nine Grand Crus include - Chambertin, Chambertin-Clos de Beze, Chapelle-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Mazoyeres-Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin, Latricieres-Chambertin, Mazis-Chambertin and Ruchottes-Chambertin. Some would suggest the Premier Cru, Clos Saint-Jacques is of equal quality and should have been included in this classification. We tend to agree, but its Premier Cru classification doesn't diminish its complexity and strength.
Legend has it that Chambertin, the most famous of these Grand Crus, takes its name from the peasant who first planted the vines and produced the wines. His name was Bertin. And so the vineyard became known as "the Champs de Bertin" (the fields of Bertin). The name evolved to Chambertin over time.
The stature of Chambertin grew through the years - no doubt helped by the fact that it was Napoleon's favorite wine. But historically, Napoleon's "boost" to Chambertin was less significant than Chambertin's impact on Burgundy. In the mid-1800s, the Mayor of Gevrey lobbied, and won, the right to append his Village's name with its most famous vineyard - Chambertin. It was a genius marketing move that began the trend of appending Village names with their most notable vineyards. Thus, Chambolle became Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne became Vosne-Romanee, Puligny and Chassagne added Montrachet, and the list goes on.
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