The exceptionally sunny spring and summer of 2003 produced an abundance of new growth and therefore a great potential for quantity. As 2004 was a normal year climatically speaking, the quality and the personality of the wines depends on how the vines were cared for throughout the growing season.
Overall, winter and summer were cold and dry, and the beginning of the vegetative cycle occurred late and progressed slowly. Following a month of May relatively hot and rainy, the Merlots bloomed rapidly, at the beginning of June, and were soon followed by the Cabernets. But at this point, a slight delay became apparent in relation to the average, and this during a month which was 2°C hotter than the 30-year average.
Summer did not have extreme temperatures, but there were many sunny days, especially in July. August was rather wet and cool. After the véraison, which occurred at a period normal in comparison to the average, around the 10th of August, ripening conditions were favorable. September was sunny and hot during the days with cool nights. October was warm (1,7°C above the average for this month). The grapes could thus ripen slowly, accumulating color and perfumes.
The grapes produced few pips. At the harvest (September 28th to October 10th), they were rich and had a sugar/acid ratio similar to that of the 1998 and 2002 vintages. The ripen period was one of the longest in our history. The wines, after a long maceration, are dense, full, ripe, very aromatic, with a certain nervousness that gives them great freshness. The Merlots are particularly fat, a little bit jammy, while the Cabernets show a clean nose of black fruit and violets. In the mouth, their length and freshness are remarkable. In the end, 2004 is a very classic vintage.