Burgundy (Red) - 2004
This cool year is softening in 2009, and most should be drunk by 2014 or so.
The weather this year has provided Burgundy's vignerons with some nail-biting moments. Things started well, with a winter and early spring remarkable only by their relative lack of frosts. May was warm followed by a cold snap so the pinot flowering was late and drawn out. Summer arrived, and, with it came the rains. July and August were uncommonly damp, cloudy and cold, bringing the threat of mould and oidium. As a result, those vignerons who cut back the leaf canopy and green harvested rigorously ended up with the healthiest grapes.
Hailstorms struck the Côte de Beaune hard in August, culminating in a hard fall on 23rd August, which wiped out swathes of Volnay, Pommard, Beaune and Savigny. While some vineyards were barely touched, others suffered up to 90 per cent damage. A total washout was prevented when the sun finally came out at the end of August and a brisk north wind helped dry out the vineyards. Hot afternoons and cool nights helped develop good ripeness, colour and acidity in the grapes. Harvest began pretty much on schedule, towards the latter half of September.