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Vintage information 2004:

The better whites were lovely at release, wonderful citrus infused acidity that is now tight and sometimes spiky; regionals can be a little harsh.
The already uneven reds have a post bottling malaise; a rather green and sometimes unpleasant cedar/pine note all producers are affected if you are sensitive, these are great bargains for the insensitive! After 3 years they have not improved. Some whites also show the odour but seem better able to assimilate it than reds...
Jan.2010

2004 Gros Michel, Vosne-Romanée Clos des RéasApr. 2011
The nose has plenty of oak and dark cherry, a little farmyard too – eventually developing high-toned aromas too – I see no vintage character, but oak can obscure that – all the same nice. Good texture; mouthfilling with plenty of well-mannered tannin. Long and darkly flavoured – a good wine for drinking now.
2004 Gambal Alex, St.Aubin Murgers des Dents de ChienFeb. 2011
Medium golden colour. The nose is a blend of slightly musky, creamy Puligny style invitation and a much riper core of yellow fruit. In the mouth this has a good width that’s coupled to very good acidity – it seems with riper fruit flavours than in its youth. Grows a little in the mid-palate then slowly decays. It’s a lovely wine, but one I slightly preferred in its youth and would certainly prefer in another 5 or 6 years – ah c’est la vie! At least I can settle down and enjoy it for what it is.
2004 Fourrier, Griotte-ChambertinOct. 2010
Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose starts with plenty of mushroom rather than the customary reduction, actually with swirling the reduction does make an appearance – a wine that needs a little air. Air dissolves the mushrooms and delivers a lovely pure red berry note, though this is also a transition to deeper, slightly darker red fruit aromas – rather primary though, as is the Griotte fashon. The well-padded palate starts quite silky though there is some bitterness to the finish, that said it’s in a bitter-chocolate style which is far from problematic. Like a number of 04s the acidity is a little elevated but that’s its position on the aging curve, nothing more. There is an interesting and very slowly emerging stony flavour in the finish. None of the disappointingly monolithic Clos St.Jacques proportions here. A very good wine that drinks quite well considering its age. Not a trace of the vintage malaise either.
2004 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles VignesOct. 2010
Medium-plus colour. The nose starts a little, inky and earthy with plenty of background reduction – the reduction is a minor flavour component too – it neads to aerate a little, so I decant. An hour later and there’s a higher-toned red fruit note, faint alcohol too but the reduction is gone. The last drops have a lovely redcurrant lift. Decent impact, perhaps a little monolithic like some other Fourrier 04s, but the lingering flavours and the overall balance are very good. I don’t discern any vintage character, but I have the impression I’d probably rather drink a majority now than leave them all in the cellar.
2004 Chandon de Briailles, Corton BlancOct. 2010
The nose starts deep and powerful – needs a little air – slowly it widens taking on higher tones, there is no trace of the vintage character. Wide, almost soft, and very complex. The flavours keep growing even after you spit. Quite an epic finish – bravo!
2004 Engel René, Grands-EchézeauxSep. 2010
Medium ruby-red – I caught myself admiring the late-evening sun as it beautifully reflected through the glass. The nose is not immune to the vintage character; it starts at an encouragingly low level but disappointingly blooms in the glass – maybe to a 6/10 level. Below the mirepoix is a creamy, faintly lactic depth – and depth this wine certainly has. Wide in the mouth, the acidity has a slightly jarring, sharp leading edge – give it an hour of aeration and this mainly but not completely tones down. The texture is very fine and the width and depth are high-class indeed. The length, despite its persistence, currently holds onto some of that character. Today this isn’t a fitting tribute to Philippe, so take any of 99-2003 to toast him – they are all drinking well. I hope that my other bottles of this will come good in another 10 years or so…
2004 Fourrier, Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles VignesAug. 2010
Medium-plus colour. The nose shows herbal hints of mint and a faint cedar, but it’s hard to say if it’s part of the the 04 character, whatever, it’s on a very low level, overall a liitle floral and not too dense, eventually it delivers a nice acid cherry aroma. Fresh, with just a little astringency to the tannin. There is just enough sweetness to carry what would otherwise be mouth-puckering acidity. Not quite as clunky as the Clos St.Jacques currently shows and the good fruit flavour comes through well in the finish. Almost good.
2004 Fourrier, Gevrey-Chambertin Clos St.JacquesAug. 2010
The wine is quite darkly (medium-plus) coloured – though far from young in shade, most 02s still look younger. The nose starts in that awkward slightly toasty oak way that Fourriers (to my bemusement) often do – they don’t see that much new wood, particularly the toasted type – I think it is reduction that needs to blow off. Less than 5 minutes in the glass and the oaky character is gone, now we have a deep, quite dark impression and a hint of cream gone lactic – it’s a hint so it’s still nice – a slight suggestion of dry forest leaves before a fruit note builds from the core, the fruit becomes ever-more prettier. In the mouth this has a silken texture and a concentration that builds as you head into the mid-palate. Initially I find the acidity not quite seamless – I’ll wait a little, hoping for either my palate or the wine to come together. The almost absent tannin only starts to reveal itself as a late bitter component in the mineral finish. The balance improves with food but I find the mid-palate flavours a little lumpen – smells great though.
2004 Perrot-Minot Christophe, Chambolle-Musigny Les FuéesAug. 2010
Medium, medium-plus colour. The first sniff reveals nothing of the vintage, the second a little and the third more – in a short time I estimate a 5/10 intensity for the vintage character – it obscures everything else for me. In the mouth I have to say the texture is super – very fine velvet – the intensity of flavour is more than delivered by the 2007, but the aromas from the nose are more than evident in the mouth too.
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