Vintage Retrospective: 2004 Barolo & Barbaresco

“Two thousand four confirms its status as one of the all-time great vintages for Barolo,” writes Antonio Galloni . How are the 2004 Barolos tasting today, as well as their neighbors in Barbaresco? Galloni shares his insights in these excerpts from the Vinous Vintage Charts . Barolo: 98 Points – Drink or Hold Two thousand four confirms its status as one of the all-time great vintages for Barolo. The wines have aged well, cementing 2004's status as a superb vintage. At the time, 2004 was a late ripening vintage, but since then, several other vintages, namely 2008, 2013 and 2014 have ripened around the same time or later. The long, moderate growing season and late harvest produced a set of beautifully perfumed, layered Barolos that are built on class and finesse. One of the key attributes of 2004 is that both quality and yields are high, two characteristics that don’t always go hand in hand. After the torrid 2003, during which the vines ceased vegetative development in order to conserve energy, the more temperate conditions of 2004 led plants to unleash all of their stored energy, which in turn produced a large crop. Diligent growers reported making several passes in the vineyard in an attempt to restrict yields, but there is only a certain amount man can impose on nature. A few wines have put on additional weight in bottle, but those are largely Barolos that already hinted at considerable volume when they were younger. Barbaresco: 94 Points – Drink A cool, late-ripening year produced refined, exquisite Barbarescos of notable class. Yields were very high, which required considerable green harvesting in the field, something only the most diligent growers carried out. Today, most 2004 Barbarescos are in or approaching the early part of their plateau of maturity. The best 2004 Barbarescos are wonderfully complete, with the sweetness of the 2000s and the greater aromatic complexity, detail and finesse of the 2001s.

Luciano Sandrone

Le Vigne Barolo Nebbiolo 2004

Best version of this wine I’ve ever had. Layered aromatics showing red fruit & smoke. Structured, weightless yet loaded with bright cherry and a return to the smokiness shown on the nose. Beautiful. — 6 years ago

David, Brandon and 55 others liked this
Hugh O'Riordan

Hugh O'Riordan

What, no vinyl?
Adrienne White

Adrienne White

@Anthony Lombardi it’s been too long since I followed your drinking! Sorry I missed your message about our tasting, we must drink together some day! Keep me posted if you come to the Bay area


Crichët Pajé Barbaresco Nebbiolo 2004

Well this one really impressed me. Amazing wine. #youseeityoudrinkit — 9 years ago

Bernardo liked this


Riserva "Villero" Barolo Nebbiolo 2004

An amazing btl. Only produced in exceptional Vintages and as should be one of the best Vietti barolo I have had. Grazie Luca #vietti — 9 years ago

Paul and Marc liked this

La Spinetta

Vürsù Vigneto Valeirano Riserva Barbaresco Nebbiolo 2004

Fascinating side by side with the Pio Cesare ornato 2000. This had an unusual amount of sweet cherry fruit and was a new world bright contrast to the pio cesare. I really enjoyed this. The ornato is supposed to be more new world but it was very old world to me in contrast to the la spinetta barbaresco. — 7 years ago

Sylvain, David and 5 others liked this

E. Pira & Figli (Chiara Boschis)

Cannubi Barolo Nebbiolo 2004

Rose petals and some tar. Elegant and lithe. Amazing bouquet. Could smell this all night! — 9 years ago

Giuseppe Rinaldi

Brunate - Le Coste Barolo Nebbiolo 2004

Nose of roses and truffles evolves to dried herbs and balsamic notes. Wonderfully complex in the mouth, with integrated tannins and a long fruit finish. Although this opened up nicely with decanting, it has plenty of years left to evolve. Savor now through 2025. — 9 years ago

Chris, Larry and 21 others liked this


Cottá Barbaresco Nebbiolo 2004

Marc S

5 hours open. Wine to accompany slow food meat (stracotto). Complex, touch of wood, still some tannins, nice soures, berries, caramel and bread — 10 years ago

Jeroen liked this
Jeroen Koenen

Jeroen Koenen

Welcome to the community, Marcus!

Paolo Scavino

Carobric Barolo Nebbiolo 2004

Earth driven, but still nice dark cherries/red cherries on the nice. Surprisingly opaque in color. Roses, lavender. Big tannins, great smooth finish. Decanting for 3hrs...needs more — 7 years ago

Guy liked this

Cantina Bartolo Mascarello

Barolo Nebbiolo 2004

The exhilarating gut punch of really good Nebbiolo. Simultaneously visceral and intellectual. — 8 years ago

Dan O'Brien
with Dan
Roel, Johan and 31 others liked this
Marc On

Marc On Influencer Badge

@Julia Weinberg ready to drink or better to give it some more years in the cellar?
Julia Weinberg

Julia Weinberg Influencer Badge

@Marc On it was drinking great but in a live wire way - I love the energy to it now but realistically the right move is to give it a good deal more time (or stock up on enough to do both?)

Giuseppe E Figlio Mascarello

Monprivato di Castiglione Falletto Barolo Nebbiolo 2004

Remi Cohen

Beautiful, perfect but with tons of intriguing character, dried sour cherries, opium, seductive savory herb, saline minerality, and bright punchy finish — 9 years ago

Claudio Miranda
with Claudio
Anthony, Nat and 6 others liked this

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Good to see a note on this, and I'm glad it showed so well for you.