Montalcino, 2004 vintage: Comments apply to all wines coming from the town of Montalcino, not just Brunello. However the star ratings from one to five given below are those given by the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino specifically for Brunello di Montalcino DOCG. In brief 2004 had plenty of rain, was not ridiculously hot, and profited from significant diurnal temperature differences.
2004 ***** (five)
2004 Growing season: The cold winter of 2003-04 helped the vines go into dormancy, allowing them to recharge their batteries for what was to prove a really exceptional year in Montalcino. Spring was cool and usefully wet, a perfect start to the help the vine’s growing cycle after the very dry heat of 2003. Throughout summer and during the harvest period [which began around the third week in September, a ‘return to normal’ after some very early vintages] the weather consisted of long, warm, sunny days and fresh nights. These consistent daily temperature differences resulted in red wines combining markedly deep colours, beautifully structured tannins and rich mouthfeel from the abundant, ripe sugars in the grapes.
2004 Wine style: One of those vintages rarely spoken about that in fact competes with the likes of 2006 or 2010. ‘A gorgeous vintage. Impeccable balance. Generally powerful wines of noteworthy cellaring potential. Sangiovese reached perfect maturation throughout the growing zone,’ (Kerin O’Keefe: 2012, p.277). ‘Brunellos from the southern sectors can be excessively warm and ripe with little nuance,’ (Ian D’Agata 2016 Decanter Italy).
2004 Production: The vineyard area comprised 1,944 hectares for Brunello and 227 hectares for Rosso producing 95,764hl of Brunello and 12,154hl of Rosso respectively.