Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Opening Gambit Merlottext

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Opening Gambit Merlot 2017

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaOpening Gambit 2017 opens with an expressive and inviting nose of savoury black fruit from an 87/11/2 blend of merlot, petit verdot and cabernet franc, the latter two bringing an extra dimension to the texture and aromas of this wine. The vines grow on a steep undulating slope on the Osoyoos East Bench between 330m to 437m above sea level with many expositions. It seems as if each iteration of this wine improves in the mouth, and this one is simply delicious. Again the nose is fragrant and savoury, a la Bolgheri, with even more improvement in the silky textures and liveliness of the palate that is delicate yet persistent. The fruit is painstakingly inspected cluster-by-cluster, hand-sorted and gently destemmed before another round of individual berry selection is done before an all-natural indigenous ferment. Post ferment, the juice is gravity drained into new French oak barrels for 21 months of ageing. All Checkmate reds are bottled unfined and unfiltered, so they will need to be decanted at some point in their history that looks long by the quality of this wine.Tasted: 12 June 2021Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices:
BC$95.00750mlwinery direct, wine club members
BC$215.001500mlwinery direct, wine club members
BC$480.003000mlwinery direct, wine club members
BC$989.006000mlwinery direct, wine club members
Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: MerlotCSPC: 408161UPC: 776545802194