Rhone (South) - 2004
Deep, dark wines of exceptional character meant for long term ageing. Perfectly balanced wines.
The weather conditions for the region were textbook favourable—a very warm, mild spring and summer allowing grapes to flower, set and start ripening well. Then, rain in August refreshed the vines and a long cool dry autumn followed, allowing ripeness to carry on at a slow pace and colour and flavour compounds to develop well and little rot to materialise.
2004 is an exceptional vintage in the southern Rhône. Grenache and mourvèdre thrived in the heat of
September while the earlier ripening varieties such as syrah retained lovely freshness. It is a vintage where differences between appellations stand out sharply so all the wines differ in character. The Châteauneufs are clearly in a class of their own. Yields were low, especially for grenache and the wines have tremendous concentration but without any baked flavours. Pierre Perrin of Château de Beaucastel likens 2004 to a cross between 2001 and 1990. There are fabulous wines from all over the southern Rhône. Perhaps special mention should be made of Vinsobres which gained cru status this year, putting it on a par with Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Vacqueyras. The other villages performed well too.
Very good quality across the board
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