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Chambertin-Clos De Bèze Grand Cru

Chambertin-Clos De Bèze is a grand cru of Gevrey-Chambertin which lies alongside the Route des Grands Crus at the northern end of the Côte. It runs from North to South between the Combes of Lavaux at one end and Morey-Saint-Denis at the other. It can be likened to a Cinemascope screen, facing east, at altitudes between 240 and 280 metres.

Clos De Bèze first appeared in the history of the Côte de Nuits in the year 640 AD as a monastic property. In 1219, it passed to the canons of Langres, who retained ownership until the French Revolution in 1789. The name Chambertin has been used since the 13th century and once shared imperial approval with Clos De Bèze - Napoleon would drink nothing else. Its boundaries have not changed since the Middle Ages. In recognition of their similarity, the seven climats adjoining those of Chambertin and Clos De Bèze attach the name Chambertin to their own names (except in the case of Clos De Bèze where the name Chambertin comes first). Grand cru status was officially granted on 31st July 1937.

The hill-slope of Chambertin-Clos De Bèze lies on hard rocks. On the upper portion are brown soils, partly alluvial, partly scree, and some tens of centimetres deep. Lower down are clay-limestone soils in varying proportions. Up slope, the rocks are of Bathonien origin, lower down the marls and limestones belong to the Jurassic (Bajocian) and numerous marine fossils are to be found on the surface, recalling the sea which covered this area some 150 million years ago.

The grands crus of Gevrey-Chambertin are iconic Pinot Noir wines; powerful, virile, complex and intense. They demand equally complex, high-toned dishes to keep the pairing in balance. Feathered game (grilled or, better still, in wine sauce) would be a worthy companion. The power of Chambertin-Clos De Bèze’s tannins will withstand the shock of contrasting textures while its aromatic complexity and above all its opulence will bring out the differences.