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Vintage Report 2002

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Bein Merlot 2002 : our maiden vintage!

The vintage 2002 was a difficult year to start our career, with lots of untimely rain, infamous in Stellenbosch for its downy mildew attacks in Spring and Summer, and it's heat waves during February. Luckily, we went unharmed from mildew, though the erratic rainfalls made water management in the vineyard very difficult. 2002 was also the year of our graduation - a double test for us!

Winemaking

Since we didn't have our own wine making facilities on-site yet, the wine was vinified at a neighbouring farm, De Toren Private Cellar, where we could rent free cellar space. The harvest took place on March 7, and the fruit was transported in small crates to the cellar, where it was fermented in closed 2,5 tons stainless-steel fermenters.
After completed alcoholic fermentation, the wine was allowed another eight days of extended maceration on the skins, before it went for malolactic fermentation and further maturation for one year into French oak barrels (35% new, balance second and third fill). Complemented with 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, it was bottled in May 2003.
6100 bottles have been produced.

Ratings

- Gold medal "La Selection" at the Basler Weinmesse 2004, Switzerland
- Classic Wine Trophy, South Africa 2003: Silver Medal
- Fairbairn Capital Trophy Wine Show, South Africa 2004: Bronze medal
- Wine Magazine Dec/2003, South Africa: 3 stars
- John Platter 2004, South Africa: 3½ stars, comment: "a label to watch!
- Weinwisser March 2004, Switzerland 16/20, comment: "excellent value"

Recommendations

opens up nicely as from mid 2004, though can be expected to mature well for the next 5 years after release

Analysis

Alc 13,8 vol%, acidity 6,4 g/l, pH 3,4