2004 at Domaine de Marcoux
After a rainy autumn, the winter was dry and fairly mild (with few frosts) but it stretched as far as mid-April.
Spring was dry.
Summer wasn’t very hot – which was fortunate, given how dry it was.
It didn’t rain for three months. The soils’ water reserves fell. The vines had suffered in 2003, and suffered again in 2004. For the first time in many a year, we decided to water a few plots in the southern part of the appellation (Marius, Serres-Chaberte and Les Plagnes). Neither Sophie and I nor our colleagues Patrick and Romuald had ever seen anything like it. We had to get organised, dig a trench in the vineyard, buy a pump and pipes and run them through the vineyards – a job fit for galley slaves! Exhausted, we were unable to finish watering Serres-Chaberte; we only did half the plot, but at harvest time we saw no difference between the grapes from the irrigated half and the rest! It makes you think…
The rain finally came, and fell hard: 150 mm on 15 August.
The fine weather returned, but the grapes were slightly late in ripening. We waited, and then harvested the Roussanne on 13 September (compared to 28 August 2003), and continued at an unhurried pace, finishing on 1 October, with the sun still shining but a heck of a Mistral! We had the quality but not the quantity: the Grenache were hit by coulure, and yields were low.
The winemaking went smoothly.