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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery End Game Merlot
91POINTS
16¾/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery End Game Merlot 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe Checkmate "merlot" project is slowly maturing aided by a string of fine south Okanagan growing seasons, namely 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. In the case of 2015, a super warm season, it proved to be a good one for reds if you had your viticulture in order, a specialty for winemaker Phil McGahan and the Von Mandl Estates viticultural crew. End Game comes off two warm, southwest facing benches along the valley's eastern side: Osoyoos East Bench and the Black Sage Bench. The soils are mostly sandy, but the rolling hillsides offer multiple exposures leaving McGahan with a selection of flavours and styles to blend. The fermentation is wild, and it's finished in the barrel where the wine remains in contact with its skins for 50+ days, building texture and complexity of flavour. McGahan is seeking purity of fruit and feels he gets that from the extended macerations times. The nose is warm in 2015 with sagebrush dusted blackcurrant fruit tones. The Attack is similar with less red fruit and black fruit in superheated 2015, but the texture and the melt in your mouth tannins keep everything in balance. Again the barrel regime is designed to increase complexing by using wood from two different forests and alternating air-dried staves with complexing the wine. Soft round, rich and mouth-filling, it finishes with a spicy licorice long run. Many will drink this now a steak, but you could store this for three to even years and allow it to become all that it can be.Tasted: 31 March 2019Tasted 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