Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Fool's Mate Chardonnaytext

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Fool's Mate Chardonnay 2015

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaFool's Mate has been a blend of south Okanagan sites and remains so in 2015 – year three. The mix is 33 percent Jagged Rock (nee The Barn Vineyard), Black Sage Bench, 26 percent Sunset Vineyard, Black Sage 24% Dekelva Vineyard, Golden Mile Bench, 13 percent Border Vista Vineyard, Osoyoos East Bench and four percent Combret Vineyard, Golden Mile Bench. Winemaker Phil McGahan continues to up his wild ferment totals from 66 to 81 percent to pursue uniqueness. The ageing process is the same as last year, 16 months in an 85/15 mix of 16 French oak barrels (46 percent new) and a single concrete egg. I like that McGhan makes this blend because it gives him so many options to create the ultimate south Okanagan chardonnay. Different sites and expositions, morning sun, afternoon sun, a broad mix of clones Dijon 76, Dijon 95, Dekleva selection and the Combret selection each contribute to the whole. It remains the most complex of the releases, right out of the gate. It was a cooker of vintage heat-wise, but clearly, McGahan made all the right decisions to maintain the brightness and freshness here while putting together a compelling chardonnay, at least on the mid-palate, that lingers with finesse and even an edgy acidity in the end. The '15 has the peach perfumed undertones, but it's the minerality and stony, salty notes in the back end that carry the wine to a higher level. Just a baby but should age well through 2020.Tasted: 31 March 2019Tasted by: Prices:
BC$80.00750mlwinery club members
Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayCSPC: 628917UPC: 776545800244