The Chambertin from Domaine Armand Rousseau is by many regarded as the king of Chambertin. There is however a queen of the Chambertin vineyard that to some degree can rival the king. In fact the queen seem to reign the hill at least regarding exclusivity and rarity.
The queen is of cause Mme Bize-Leroy and the wine is Domaine Leroy Chambertin … the most elusive and expensive wine of the Gevrey Chambertin appellation.
So lets take a closer look at the mighty Domaine Leroy Chambertin.
The Domaine Leroy in short
Domaine Leroy was founded in 1988, when Mme Bize-Leroy of Maison Leroy first acquired Domaine Charles Noëllat in Vosne-Romanée, and then in 1989 the Gevrey based estate Domaine Philippe Rémy.
Later on a few more acquisition followed to form the magnificent Domaine Leroy we know today. An estate with tremendous Grand Cru holdings in Romanée Saint-Vivant, Richebourg, Musigny, Chambertin, Latriciéres-Chambertin, Clos des Vougeot, Clos de la Roche, Corton-Renardes and Corton Charlemagne. Domaine Leroy now has 21 hectares, 99 ares, 66 centiares including the 1er crus and the village wines.
In addition Mme Bize-Leroy have established Domaine d’Auvernay with Grand Cru holdings in Criots Batard-Montrachet, Chevalier-Montrache, Batard-Montrachet, Bonnes Mares and Mazis-Chambertin.
These vineyard holdings are almost unparalleled in Burgundy – and adding the Leroy share of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti – Mme Bize-Leroy is a true Burgundy legend and while sometimes controversial she is perhaps the most influential and visionary vigneron of the region seen over the last 40 years.
One can not mention Domaine Leroy and Mme Bize-Leroy without mentioning Biodynamic principles, as she has been the major force behind exploring and implementing biodynamic viticulture and winemaking in Burgundy – alongside another great lady of the region – the late Anne-Claude Leflaive of Domaine Leflaive in Puligny-Montrachet.
The Chambertin vineyard
The Chambertin vineyard is 12.90 ha next to and closely related to the neighbouring Chambertin Clos de Bèze.
Chambertin and Clos de Bèze are without doubt the two top terroirs of Gevrey-Chambertin, and while Chambertin is regarded as the most prestigious vineyard – they are pretty close quality and even style wise.
Adding to the prestige of the Chambertin vineyard is the Domaine Leroy ownership – hence making the most exclusive wine produced in the Gevrey appellation.
The Chambertin vineyard is located between Chambertin Clos de Bèze and Latriciéres-Chambertin just above Charmes-Chambertin – see map below.
Taking a closer look at Chambertin we see a relatively large number of plots reflecting the around 20 owners of Chambertin. Domaine Leroy is the 7th largest owner on Chambertin – with only one fifth of the area owned by Domaine Armand Rousseau who is the largest owner of Chambertin.
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