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Gold medal for Bein Merlot 2006 at the Emozioni dal Mondo

Vintage Report 2006

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Merlot 2006

The BEIN MERLOT 2006 is a classically styled red wine with strong structure, convincing on the palate with full tannins and a firm aftertaste.

Complemented with 8% of Cabernet Sauvignon and 6% of Cabernet Franc, it is matured for one year in 225L oak barrels of which 65% were new, with the balance being 2nd fill barrels (95% French oak and 5% American oak). It was bottled in May 2007 and matured for another year in our bottle maturation cellar before its release in Mai 2008
9500 bottles of Bein Merlot have been produced in this vintage.

Tasting notes:

This vintage impresses with a strong structure and good complexity; brilliantly clear and dark of colour; with fruit aromas of ripe black berries, plum and cherries; complemented with pleasantly sweet barrel flavours of mocha, chocolate and an interesting hint of smokiness, it convinces on the palate with full tannins and a firm aftertaste.

This wine will profit from decanting, it develops and opens up, and will do so in the cellar for an expected 8 to 10 years from release (depending on the cellaring conditions, ideally at <15 degree C).

Awarded with a GOLD Medal at Emozioni dal Mondo 2008, the international wine competition for Merlots and Cabernets in Bergamo, Italy www.emozionidalmondo.it

BEIN LITTLE MERLOT 2006

This wine is constituted from the batch of our vineyard that was matured for one year in in second- and third-fill barrels and blended with 14% of a top quality Cabernet franc from origin Stellenbosch. It is characterized by a fine cherry fruit in the nose, and together with its smooth tannins and the creamy texture, it offers early drinking pleasure and particularly good value for money

Analysis

Bein Merlot 2006:  Alc 14,2%Vol, TA 5,2 g/L, pH 3,5
Little Merlot 2006: Alc 13.8%Vol, TA 5.1 g/l, pH 3.68

Vintage report 2005-06 :

Winter 2005 was quite warm but at last with enough precipitation. At last, most dams are filled to a level of 85% or more, the highest stand in the last 4 years. In the vineyard, we were busy over the last two years to consistently reducing the numbers of bearers to 6 per vine or running meter, in order to achieve a further concentration of our future crop.
Spring was unusually cool, with budding being slightly later, and accordingly overall moderate vegetative growth, so we had enough time this year for the actually very labor intensive work of suckering, the removal of excess growth on the vines.

Flowering started with the begin of November and was very even and undisturbed. Up to now, the weather was generally cooler and with little rain, which allowed us to reduce disease prophylaxis to the absolute minimum. December and January were characterisde by lots of wind, drying out mercilessly our vineyardn. Veraison (change of colour) started this year slightly later, around the 10 of January.

Generally, the fruit was very even, with particularly small berries promising good extract in the future wine! Unfortunately, this was also observed by the migrating starlings which flocked in by thousands. Having invested already so much in thinning and manicuring of the crop, we were not prepared to share it with these uninvited guests and decided to put up bird nettings to protect at least the most affected areas of our vineyard. Luckily, it helped and the birds went for easier accessible fruit in the neighbor's vineyard - uff!

Harvest took place under ideal climatic conditions between 7th till 14th of March. Again, the young vines were about one week earlier. The overall quality of the fruit was very good with sugar concentrations between 24 and 24.6 Balling (ca 25 % sugar!) and a good natural acidity. Cuvaison lasted 14 days, after which the very dense and pitch-dark young wine was drained straight into the barriques for malolactic fermentation and further maturation.

The birth year of the Pink Merlot

Despite the smaller crop, we “bleeded” this year – like every year – our Merlot, i.e. we draw of some juice before fermentation in order to give our main wine some more concentration. With this free run juice, we produced for the first time our now so popular Pink Merlot, cold-fermented like a top-notch white wine in a small stainless steel tank at 14ºC, resulting in a refreshingly fruity, dry Rosé with a gorgeous dark pink colour..

May 2007 brought the final tastings and bottling of Bein Merlot 2006. It wasn't easy that year to decide on our final assemblage. 8 different batches of Merlot were to assess, from the different corners of our vineyard and matured in various combinations of different oak barrels. In addition, several samples of top quality Cabernets were included in order to find out whether they could complement our wine. After many flights of blind tastings, we decided on the final assemblage of our Merlot 2006: all our first fill barrels and 35% second fill barrels went into our flagship wine Bein Merlot, complemented with 6% Cabernet franc and 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, yielding eventually 9600 bottles.

The wine of the remaining second and third fill barrels went into our Little Merlot, complemented with 14% Cabernet franc.