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Chambertin-Clos de Bèze

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Chambertin-Clos de Bèze is a Grand Cru vineyard adjacent to Chambertin itself (and similar to it in many ways.) Although the wines are allowed to be labeled Chambertin, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze has built up a strong enough reputation for its own wines that this is rarely necessary. Clos de Bèze is 36.3 acres, about 3.6 acres larger than Chambertin itself, and produces roughly 5,700 cases each year, in comparison to Chambertin's 5,000.

And yet Chambertin-Clos de Bèze has fewer owners, and this potentially explains the difference in quality. Also, some prefer Chambertin-Clos de Bèze's slightly lighter style better, and its more approachable nature has caused a number of négociants to select it as their main Gevrey-Chambertin Grand Cru. For those who prefer the richer, firmer Chambertins, there are still plenty of great wines, but Clos de Bèze's lighter style has apparently overtaken.


Chambertin-Clos de Bèze was the first vineyard in Gevrey-Chambertin, developed in the 7th century by the Abbey of Bèze. The abbey, which was home to Cistercian nuns, was one of many that played a huge part in the development of Burgundy as a wine area, in conjunction with the French monarchy.

This historic head start made Clos de Bèze's wines very popular very early, and there was little competition for hundreds of years. Around 200 B.C., the adjacent field of Chambertin began developing wine. Since then, the vineyards have long been erstwhile rivals, despite having been owned by the same person for a brief stint in the 18th century. Right now, Clos de Bèze has the upper hand in the long-running rivalry between the two Grands Crus, but with a new crop of great producers concentrating on their potent Chambertins, it will be a struggle to maintain that position.

Climate and Viticulture

The flat vineyard of Chambertin-Clos de Bèze, which lies to the north of Chambertin, makes wine of similar flavor and longevity. But the wines are generally lighter, and the difference is noticeable if the producer and vintage are the same for the two. The reason for the greater depth of Chambertin's wines is that Clos de Bèze's soil is physically shallower, so the vines cannot reach as deep into the limestone embankment. The difference this makes is stylistic; Clos de Bèze wines are more rich, aromatic, and approachable than those of Chambertin, though less deep and layered.

Grape Varieties

Major Producers

Chambertin-Clos de Bèze has a number of producers, only slightly less than Chambertin, and it is easy to find poor-quality wine here. Still, there is a better proportion of reliable wine, even if the best examples aren't better, in the Clos de Bèze vineyard than in Chambertin itself. The prices here will tend to be a little higher than Chambertins', but relative values for under $200 can be found.

Here are 11 producers that we consider to be Chambertin-Clos de Bèze leaders.


Among the 9 Gevrey-Chambertin Grands Crus, Chambertin-Clos de Bèze is most closely tied to Chambertin itself. As for the labeling practices, most Clos de Bèze labeling is straightforward, with the Chambertin-Clos de Bèze name clearly printed on the label. Some of these wines label themselves as Chambertin, but obviously, those are listed on the Chambertin page!