Médoc and Graves, 2004

2004 was a classic Bordeaux vintage. A return to the more traditional style of elegance and finesse. There was consistency across all appellations with wines redolent of their individual terroirs.

Growing conditions were not ideal however. Spring budding was late, and then the number of buds flourished in May giving early signs of what was a large crop. Temperatures were above average, but sunshine hours below average, and August was wet.

Those producers that excelled (primarily first growths and super seconds in the Médoc, and the elite of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion) did so by maximising their grapes’ exposure to sunlight by thinning leaf coverage on their vines, crop thinning, picking late, and limiting their produce: producing classically ageworthy wines (due to high tannin content), rather than super-concentrated. Below this top tier, there are both under-performers and over-performers. Many producers, who could not afford to limit their production, produced less interesting wines - but amongst the over-performers there are some real bargains, especially as the vintage was originally underestimated by critics.

It was a very good year for dry whites, which have a nice balance of fruit concentration and acidity, but a poor year in Sauternes. 

The Wines

A good year for the Médoc, particularly for those châteaux who picked their Cabernet in October and restricted their produce for their grand vins. Not the best year to be sourcing good value Cru Bourgeois or petite châteaux who were financially unable to restrict their crops to make exciting wines. That being said, there are also some bargains to be found at this level. A vintage for laying down, due to high tannin levels in Cabernet Sauvignon.

There were some very good reds and whites from Margaux and Pessac-Léognan who picked their Sauvignon and Merlot early, and some good values are to be found here.

Médoc and Graves, 2004

2004 was a classic Bordeaux vintage. A return to the more traditional style of elegance and finesse. There was consistency across all appellations with wines redolent of their individual terroirs.

Growing conditions were not ideal however. Spring budding was late, and then the number of buds flourished in May giving early signs of what was a large crop. Temperatures were above average, but sunshine hours below average, and August was wet.

Those producers that excelled (primarily first growths and super seconds in the Médoc, and the elite of Pomerol and Saint-Émilion) did so by maximising their grapes’ exposure to sunlight by thinning leaf coverage on their vines, crop thinning, picking late, and limiting their produce: producing classically ageworthy wines (due to high tannin content), rather than super-concentrated. Below this top tier, there are both under-performers and over-performers. Many producers, who could not afford to limit their production, produced less interesting wines - but amongst the over-performers there are some real bargains, especially as the vintage was originally underestimated by critics.

It was a very good year for dry whites, which have a nice balance of fruit concentration and acidity, but a poor year in Sauternes. 

The Wines

A good year for the Médoc, particularly for those châteaux who picked their Cabernet in October and restricted their produce for their grand vins. Not the best year to be sourcing good value Cru Bourgeois or petite châteaux who were financially unable to restrict their crops to make exciting wines. That being said, there are also some bargains to be found at this level. A vintage for laying down, due to high tannin levels in Cabernet Sauvignon.

There were some very good reds and whites from Margaux and Pessac-Léognan who picked their Sauvignon and Merlot early, and some good values are to be found here.

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  1. Domaine de Chevalier, Rouge, 2004

    Domaine de Chevalier, Rouge, 2004

    Graves, Bordeaux, France

    Optimum Drinking: 2017-2022
    Reviewer Rating: 90 - Robert Parker

    "...classic southern Graves version of elegance...lead pencil shavings, sweet cherry and strawberry fruit, cedar, spice, and subtle smoke. Medium-bodied with outstanding purity, richness, and texture..." Robert Parker

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    • Case of 12
    £46.50
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  2. Château Duhart-Milon-Rothschild, 2004 - Cadman Fine Wines

    Château Duhart-Milon-Rothschild, 2004

    Pauillac, Bordeaux, France

    Optimum Drinking: 2016-2023
    Reviewer Rating: 91 - eRobertParker.com

    "Medium to full-bodied with good purity, strong tannins, and undeniable elegance, it reveals a character not dissimilar from its renowned sibling, Lafite-Rothschild." eRobertParker.com

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    £60.00
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