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Gold Medal for Bein Merlot 2003 at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2005 

Vintage Report 2003 

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Bein Merlot 2003

Nov 2004: " Deep mulberry red in colour, pinky rim, warm ripe mulberry fruit, slight sweetness, lovely discreet oak; lovely berry flavours, well proportioned fruit and neatly balanced by good oak - classy - well judged, typical"
(Irina van Holt)

Jan 2005: "From a single vineyard, it combines class and personality with clearly defined varietal character and a comfortable 13,5% alcohol. A glimpse of good French oak (40% new) is presently visible alongside the unshowy layers of bitter chocolate and fresh red plums; these will fuse with time. Complementing the lovely fresh fruit with its finishing bite of savouriness, is a rich, silky texture, both supported by the sort of structure that will allow for at least 6-8 years' beneficial aging. It deserves at least a few years before opening." (Angela Lloyd, GRAPE Magazine)

Ratings

- Gold Medal at the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2005
- in the TOP TEN Merlots of South Africa at the Diners Club Winemaker of the Year Award 2005
- GRAPE, South Africa, January 2005 : 4 stars
- John Platter 2005 Wine Guide South Africa: 4 stars

Analysis

alc 13,7%Vol, TA 6,3 g/l, pH 3,6

2003 Vintage Report

A good cold dormant season - after three unusually warm winters - promoted an even budding. Together with the following ideal summer weather, an excellent fruit development was guaranteed, promising an exceptional quality for the vintage 2003.

Eager to implement our new knowledge from the University, our tedious work in the vineyard aimed at manicuring each bunch to its optimal size and sun exposure. And in a second round, just after veraison, every single bunch was again painstakingly inspected for any green, late ripening berries, which were mercilessly cut out. This was eventually rewarded with an exceptionally even crop at optimal ripeness of 24 Balling and a good natural acidity of 6.5 g/l, brought in comparably early on the 26th of February 2003. Twelve tons have been harvested, yielding eventually 37 barrels of a wine of great potential.

The fruit was similarly processed as 2002. After selective hand picking, the grapes were transported to the winery in small 15-kg-crates, in order to avoid any damage to the berries. In the cellar, the fruit was meticulously sorted on a sorting table prior to the destemmer. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, at a temperature of 28-31 degree C. Regular pumping over guaranteed a gentle but thorough extraction of the fruit. After alcoholic fermentation, the new wine was left an additional 10 days on the skins for further extraction, before being racked into barrels (40% new). Beside the barrels of French oak, we used this year also two barrels of American oak in an attempt to add further complexity.

10'300 bottles have been produced of this vintage.