Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2004 Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The May 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 this coming weekend and publish a Bottle Note shortly thereafter.

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.

At 16 years of age, even the best wines, should be ready to drink.

The Contenders:

  • 2004 Clos des Papes – Amazingly refined, with a pure, silky current of raspberry ganache and cassis flavors that glides along supple tannins. Hints of mocha, mineral and garrigue check in on the long, pure finish. Has serious structure for the long haul. All about balance and finesse. Drink now through 2030. 96 points from the Wine Spectator.
  • 2004 Pégau – One of the clear standouts in the vintage, the Feraud’s 2004 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee offers both stunning aromatic complexity paired with a voluptuous, supple and downright sexy profile on the palate. Loaded with classic Pegau spice, tobacco leaf, saddle leather, cured meats and lavender aromas and flavors, this beauty has no hard edges, full-bodied richness and weight, and a seamless finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. A wine that hasn’t shut down since bottling, it should continue to evolve gracefully for another decade at least. This is one of those wines you don’t want to miss.  96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2004 Beaucastel – Thoroughly primal, with a torrent of raspberry and boysenberry fruit rushing forth. Only shows hints of its full range, with licorice, incense, graphite and mocha flavors fluttering in the background. Has an iron-clad structure, with a long finish that shows great cut and grip. Best from 2009 through 2025. 96 points from the Wine Spectator.

Which 2004 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Should I Open

  • 2004 Pégau (42%, 8 Votes)
  • 2004 Beaucastel (37%, 7 Votes)
  • 2004 Clos des Papes (21%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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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 June installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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