Le Chambertin (often written as just Chambertin) is a Grand Cru vineyard and corresponding appellation of the Cote de Nuits. It is the most prestigious vineyard not only in Gevrey-Chambertin, but arguably the whole of Burgundy. Only the Romanee-Conti and Montrachet vineyards (producing red and white wines respectively) challenge Le Chambertin for this status, and the site has been dubbed the 'King' of Burgundy.
The name Chambertin originally applied to a single lieu-dit, the core of which now forms the modern Le Chambertin Grand Cru. Such was the prestige of the wines from this ancient vineyard that its name was appended to that of the village (then named simply Gevrey), producing Gevrey-Chambertin. Napoleon famously drank Chambertin wine, even during his military campaigns abroad. He consumed it daily, diluted with water, and even had his bottles embossed with the letter N.
The upper slopes of the Grand Cru belt in Gevrey-Chambertin is dominated by Le Chambertin and its neighbor, Chambertin Clos-de-Beze. These two vineyard sites (climats) made up the original Chambertin lieu-dit and are often referred to collectively, as they are considered to be of similarly excellent quality.Together, they occupy 75 acres (30ha) of the finest terroir in the commune.
The soils of Le Chambertin are well drained and stony, with a thin layer of pebble-strewn, chalky topsoil over a deep rocky base. The percentage of clay reduces higher up the site, giving way to drier, looser limestone. The climate here is of continental type, producing relatively hot, dry summers and cool, crisp winters. Particularly in summer, this climate type brings high diurnal temperature variation, which helps to maintain a balance between natural sugars and acidity in the wines.