2004: The challenge!

CLOS-DE-VOUGEOTA bad memory for the winemakers. This year, which brought together all kinds of climatic calamities, was particularly chaotic; a year of challenges and a year for reflection. In other words, a very difficult vintage. Mother Nature threw everything she had at us: It hailed on virtually every plot, as much as three times on some. These physical shocks provoked disease and were a torture for the vines, where many berries were lost. It meant for some radical sorting at harvest time and around 20% of the crop was mercilessly rejected.

Gentle vinification had to respect the balance between extraction and structure for the reds. For the whites, the vintage was abundant and exceptional. The long ageing process was marked by seemingly never-ending malolactic fermentations for the whites and exceptional systematic racking off in one- or two-year-old barrels.

The resulting wines were forthright and pure, with fine texture and exquisitely sophisticated in character, to reward us for our efforts. Unfortunately, they were closely followed by the exceptional 2005 vintage which tended to make one forget the delights of these well-aged wines.