Looking back on the year 2004 in Spain, most Spaniards will remember one thing: “11-M”, or March 11th, the day of the Atocha Station bombing. A painful year, one of monumental events forever seared into the memory of Spaniards everywhere.
But now, a decade later, those painful memories may finally start to be challenged – even if in a very small way – by some fond ones: it turns out that 2004 was also one of the greatest vintages in modern Spanish wine-making history.
It didn’t start out that way.
There was a lot of rain and snow during the winter months, and low temperatures in March, April and May. This delayed the start of the growth cycle particularly in Rioja. However, all that rain ensured ample water supplies later in the year, and once the growth cycle did start it quickly made up for lost time. Rain returned again in September, but coupled with high temperatures, the remainder of the harvest season experienced exceptionally good weather and delivered near-perfect conditions for Spanish wine makers.
In fact, the DOCa Rioja Control Board (that governs the Denomination of Origin of Rioja) awarded the 2004 harvest its highest rating: “excellent”.
The result was some of the best wines to emerge from Spain in decades with critics gushing in praise, awarding 94, 96 and even 97 point ratings (!) to several bottles. Check out some of our 2004’s below – it’s almost embarrassing how highly rated these are!
Our advice: if it’s Spanish, and it has 2004 on the label, you’ll probably want to grab it.