Chambertin (Napoleon’s favorite red wine)


Chambertin is a prestigious Grand Cru appellation (of the highest quality) located in the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin, in the Côte de Nuits sub-region of Burgundy, France. It produces an exclusive red wine from the Pinot Noir variety, which is invariably included in the best world ratings.

Variety description

Dry red wine Chambertin has a strength of 13-14% vol., Rich ruby ​​color and rich perfumed aroma of plums, cherries, fruit pits, gooseberries, licorice, violets, moss, wet earth and sweet spices. The drink can be aged in the vinotheque for at least 10 years, often longer.

Chambertin (Napoleon’s favorite red wine)
traditional color

According to legend, Napoleon Bonaparte drank Chambertin wine diluted with water every day, and did not give up this habit even during military campaigns.

Appellation requirements allow up to 15% Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc or Pinot Gris to be added to the composition, but the best representatives of the species are 100% Pinot Noir.

The price per bottle can reach several thousand dollars.

Chambertin (Napoleon’s favorite red wine)
Pinot Noir is the main variety for the production of Chambertin


Historically, the name Chambertine referred to a larger area, in the center of which was the farm of the same name. The Chambertin zone included the Clos-de-Bèze appellation, which also had Grand Cru status. Wines from this production can still be labeled as Chambertin.

According to legend, the name of the drink is an abbreviated phrase Champ de Bertin – “Bertin’s field”. It is believed that this was the name of the man who founded this appellation in the XNUMXth century.

The fame of this wine spread so far that in 1847 the local council decided to add its name to the name of the village, which at that time was simply called Gevry. So did 7 other farms, among which was the Charmes vineyard, which has since been called Charmes-Chambertin, and since 1937, all farms with the prefix “Chambertin” have the status of Grand Cru.

Thus, in addition to the original Chambertin vineyard in the commune of Gevry-Chambertin, today there are 8 more appellations with this name in the title:

  • Chambertin-Clos de Bèze;
  • Charmes-Chambertin;
  • Mazoyeres-Chambertin;
  • Chapel-Chambertin;
  • Griotte-Chambertin;
  • Latricières-Chambertin;
  • Mazis-Chambertin;
  • Ruchottes-Chambertin.

Although Chambertin is called the “King of Wines”, the quality of the drink does not always correspond to this high title, as much depends on the manufacturer.

Chambertin (Napoleon’s favorite red wine)

Features of climate

The soil in the Chambertin appellation is dry and stony, interspersed with chalk, clay and sandstone. The climate is continental, with warm, dry summers and cold winters. The strong difference between day and night temperatures allows the berries to maintain a natural balance between sugar content and acidity. However, due to spring frosts, the harvest of the whole year dies, which only adds to the price of other vintages.

How to drink

Chambertin wine is too expensive and noble to drink it at dinner: this drink is served at parties and gala dinners at the highest level, previously cooled to 12-16 degrees Celsius.

The wine is paired with mature cheese, grilled meats, fried poultry and other meat dishes, especially with thick sauces.

Chambertin (Napoleon’s favorite red wine)
Chambertin goes best with cheeses.

Famous brands of Chambertin wine

The name of the producers of Chambertin usually consists of the words Domain and the name of the farm itself.

Famous representatives: (Domain) Dujac, Armand Rousseau, Ponsot, Perrot-Minot, Denis Mortet, etc.

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