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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery End Game Merlottext
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CheckMate Artisanal Winery End Game Merlot 2014

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Checkmate project is slowly maturing, aided by a string of fine south Okanagan growing seasons, namely 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and what looks like 2018 too. Winemaker Phil McGahan oversees a meticulous regime that starts in the vineyard with precision desert viticulture. The fruit comes off two warm, south Okanagan benches along the valley's eastern side. Osoyoos East Bench and the Black Sage Bench are mostly sandy soils combined with multiple undulating exposures to produce a range of flavours and styles intensified by the late sun. In 2014 the ferment was 100 percent wild and ran into oak before dryness to finish up inside the barrel. In all, there is 50+ day maceration (wine in contact with the skin) that contributes to beautiful silky, soft tannins. McGahan seeks the purity of fruit and feels he gets that from the extended macerations times. The nose has an enticing pure merlot or red fruit character that pushes the oak into the background. McGahan's barrel regime is designed to increase complexing by using wood from two different forests using alternating air-dried staves to complex the wine. The attraction of merlot is its texture, and this dense, soft, round, savoury red with bits of licorice, bitter chocolate and brown spice is more about texture than big flavours. It's a new style of Okanagan merlot where less is more. You can drink this now with a grilled steak, but we would wait till 2020 and beyond.Tasted: 01 May 2018Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 85.00 winery direct, wine club members BC 196.00 1500 winery direct, wine club members BC 439.00 winery direct, wine club members BC 989.00 6000 winery direct, wine club members Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: MerlotCSPC: 752683UPC: 776545800381