quicksearch
Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Opening Gambit Merlottext
94POINTS
17½/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Opening Gambit Merlot 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThis wine continues to impress in the bottle, and as the months slip by, it is slowly putting on weight to bolster its velvety texture. It is the best Opening Gambit since the first Checkmate vintage release in 2013. The blend is 85.7/9.5/4.5 merlot, petit verdot, and cabernet franc, the latter two having a lasting impact on this delicious bottle's style. The nose is fragrant and savoury, but in 2016, the fruit is particularly pure. The texture is creamy and supple, aided by dense, sweet, soft tannins that build the structure without drying out the wine. Bolgheri-like, its savoury mocha finish is part of the charm. Inspected cluster by cluster, the fruit is hand sorted and gently destemmed before another round of individual berry selection is done before an indigenous ferment. Post ferment, the juice is gravity drained into new French oak barrels for 21 months of ageing.Tasted: 29 August 2020Tasted by: Prices: BC 85.00 winery direct, wine club members BC 196.00 1500 winery direct, wine club members BC 480.00 3000 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: 408161UPC: 776545801753