A high quality “terroir” vintage

In contrast with 2003, the year 2004 can be considered as a normal year. The sum of temperatures was 4297 °C, and the number of high heat days was less than in 2003 (59 days in 2004, as compared to 92 days in 2003). But an increasing number of days with sunshine during the vegetative period of the vine (7 % higher than in a normal year), brought about the budbreak and blossoming 10 days earlier than in 2003.

Heavy rain falls in August (100 mm during August and September) allowed the vine stock to be well hydrated and nourished during the veraison. September was dry and windy which ensured very good phenolic maturation at harvesting time.

A large number of cool nights (under 15°C during 10 nights) in August contributed to the acidity of the grapes as well as the concentration of colour. Thanks to a dry and windy September (10 days of Mistral), the grapes were highly concentrated and reached a good technological maturity.

Excellent maturities espefcially of Grenache grapes gave colourful wines, with a deep purple robe and bluish tints. They have a nose of jam, black berries, red fruit, fruit in brandy, and most of them show liquorice aromas in the mouth.

The production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape in 2004 was 95 000 hl, which is less than the ten-year average of 102.000 hectoliters. Of that total, 91.000 hl was red wine and 6 000 hl white. The yield was 30 hl / ha on average for the entire appellation. This low yield contributed to enhance the quality of the 2004 vintage.

2004 is a year of “terroir” and high quality. The vintage is very promising and honored the 70th anniversary of the creation of the Appellation of Origin National Institute (I.N.A.O.) in 2005.