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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Fool's Mate Chardonnaytext
94POINTS
17½/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Fool's Mate Chardonnay 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaTasted twice now, Fool's Mate is a blend of sites, and it is clear 'the sum is greater than its parts' in 2017. The mix is 74 percent Jagged Rock Vineyards, dirt that sits just east of Phantom Creek on the Black Sage Bench. The other sites in play include 11 percent Border Vista Vineyard (Osoyoos), with 5 percent contributions from Sunset Vineyard (Black Sage Bench), and Dekleva and Combret vineyards (Golden Mile Bench). The clones are equally diverse: Dijon 76, Dijon 95, 809, Dekleva, and Combret, and the results are highly encouraging. The elegance and general style is getting better and better: think more ballerina, less tap dancer. It's not Burgundy, and it is not California, but it is all Checkmate and Okanagan, and it has plenty of life ahead. Winemaker Phil McGahan used eight high end Burgundy barrels that were 41 percent new, plus one foudre, and one concrete egg. Expect a cool pear, nectarine affair supported by a savoury mineral undercurrent and a long, silky, saline, smooth finish. At 14.1 percent alcohol, the organic viticulture continues to encourage phenolic ripeness at an earlier stage, allowing for earlier picking and lower alcohols. It also is 66 percent wild fermented, which McGahan claims adds some complexing white noise to the mix. Good value.Tasted: 06 December 2020Tasted by: Prices: BC 80.00 winery direct, restaurants, select private wine shops Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayCSPC: 628917UPC: 776545802071