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2004 vintage guide for Sauternes and Barsac

See Decanter's vintage guide for Sauternes and Barsac 2004.

Sauternes and Barsac 2004


Balanced wine rich in botrytis from better producers who selected for noble rot affected fruit

Weather Conditions

The weather returned to a more typical pattern after the excesses of 2003. The harvest was nearly a month later but more in keeping with the norm. A dry, sunny June assisted with a swift and uniform flowering. Temperatures for July, August and September were above the 30-year average while sunshine hours were below (but on a par or better than 2001 and 2002). Rainfall was consistent for the region and without surfeit except for the 71mm that fell in August putting initial doubts over the potential of the year. A relatively warm, dry sunny spell through September and early October compensated. Intermittent rain from 11 October resulted in a degradation of quality in Sauternes (the quality botrytised grapes were picked 15 September-8 October). A small quantity of quality botrytised wine will be produced but this will not be considered a great year.

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