Bottle Notes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Pick My Next Bottle – 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

2004 Chateauneuf du Pape

The July installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the 2004 vintage. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. I will open the winning bottle on July 28th and publish a Bottle Note in early August.

Similar to 2003, the 2004 growing season was marked by drought, but with substantially less heat. As in ’03, yields were less than normal—down up to 40 percent at some domaines—a result of the small, concentrated berries that the vines produced. However, unlike 2003, when the Grenache grape was the stand out, all the varieties performed well in ’04, including Mourvèdre, a key component of many Châteauneuf-du-Papes.

The Contenders

  • 2004 Domaine du Pégaü – One of the finest efforts of the vintage is the 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Reservée. There is no Cuvée da Capo in 2004, and as my commentary will make clear, they decided not to produce one in 2005. The 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Reservée has a dark plum/garnet/purple color and a big, sweet nose of kirsch liqueur, lavender, roasted herbs, and beef juices intermixed with some licorice and spice. It is full-bodied, rich, deep, spicy, and dense with some tannins in the finish. The wine is not as accessible as many 2004s, and I would opt for cellaring it for 3-4 years and drinking it over the following 15-20. It’s a gorgeous effort for the vintage. 94 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2004 Le Vieux Donjon – Tight on the nose, but with a great beam of red and black fruits, as well as hoisin sauce, olive, cocoa, tar and raspberry ganache. Long, lush finish pumps out darker and darker fruit. Has the racy profile of the vintage, but its range sets it apart. Best from 2007 through 2026. 94 points from the Wine Spectator. Number 31 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2006.
  • 2004 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe – Pure and silky, with raspberry, cocoa, truffle and mineral notes that glide along the fresh acidity. The long, silky finish lets the fruit and minerality hang nicely, with garrigue in the background. Should blossom in the cellar. Best from 2008 through 2025. 94 points from the Wine Spectator. Number 20 in the Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2007.

Which 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape should I open?

  • 2004 Domaine du Pégaü (42%, 10 Votes)
  • 2004 Le Vieux Donjon (29%, 7 Votes)
  • 2004 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe (29%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 24

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the August installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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6 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

  1. 2004 Le Vieux Donjon is my pick, Tom. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but on average isn’t Donjon more drinkable earlier than either Vieux Telegraphe or Pegau? If I’m correct here, then Donjon’s the one.

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