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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Fool's Mate Chardonnaytext
93POINTS
17¼/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Fool's Mate Chardonnay 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOne of the perks of wine writing is the opportunity to take part in vertical tastings once in a while to track a single wine through several vintages. It's the ultimate test of a wine's ability to express each vintage while revealing its fingerprint and even more important to demonstrate whether it can age over time in the bottle. On this day, we tasted every vintage to date of Fool's Mate, from 2013-2017. As young as the winery is, it was a revelation. We learned that the original ageing window, thought to be about five years by winemaker Phil McGahan, is quickly expanding into the 7-10 year range as the wines evolve in the bottle. Two-thirds of 2014 was wild fermented, while the ageing process was 16 months in an 85/15 mix of French oak barrels (42 percent new) and concrete eggs. The clonal mix is diverse, blending Dijon 76, Dijon 95, Dekleva selection, and the Combret selection. I still think it's the most complex of the early releases. The aromatics are toning down as the South Okanagan sagebrush notes quietly surface. The salty acidity we see in subsequent vintages is very prevalent. Power and elegance; this wine is beginning to peak in all departments. It is the Next World Okanagan. Roast chicken, anyone?Tasted: 04 February 2020Tasted by: Prices: BC 80.00 winery club members Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayCSPC: 628917UPC: 776545800244