Bordeaux 2004 – ‘The best-value vintage on the market today’?


 At a Decanter Magazine Panel Tasting of the 2004 Médoc Crus Classés which I recently attended, Master of Wine James Lawther noted “For lovers of classic Bordeaux, this is the best-value vintage on the market today.”

It is almost always the case that the years which immediately precede and follow a great vintage suffer from living a little in the shade of that vintage. So it was very comforting to find amongst this range of 2004s some wines of great purity, classical expression of terroir and by no means least, relatively modest prices.

In view of the high prices asked for 2005, and to a lesser extent 2006, 2004 represents extraordinary good value, especially for the wines which showed particularly well at this tasting.

I was unable to taste St. Julien and St. Estephe but Pauillac enjoyed a particular high strike rate, with magnificent wines coming from Ch. Pontet Canet, Ch. Lynch Bages, Ch. Clerc Milon and Ch. Pichon Longueville Baron.

A big hit amongst the Margaux appellations was Ch. Kirwan, which exhibited stunning fruit quality and excellent concentration. 

Also among the stars, unsurprisingly, were Ch. Palmer and Ch. Margaux which boasted striking purity of fruit and minerality.