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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Black Rook Merlottext
91POINTS
16¾/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Black Rook Merlot 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaThe '18 is all about the texture at this point, and it over-delivers what many would agree are the genuine charms of merlot: softer tannins and bright fruit. Black cherry dominates the wine, with toasted oak, coffee bean, and some savoury blueberry/ brambleberry in the finish. The tannins are dense but dusty, and the wine is already very drinkable. Black Rook comes off the sparse, sandy soils of the Black Sage Bench. Their low vigour yields intense black cherry dusted with licorice and a savoury sagebrush undercurrent so prominent across the east side vines of the south Okanagan. The vineyard is pushed up into the foothills of the Okanagan Highland at an elevation of 317 metres through 408 metres. All the Checkmate fruit is hand-picked and hand-sorted and then destemmed. In 2018 production was only 10 barrels. It is wild fermented and gets extended skin contact before barrel ageing in new French oak for 21 months.Tasted: 11 February 2022Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 95.00 winery direct, select private wine shops BC 215.00 1500 winery direct, restaurants, select private wine shops BC 480.00 3000 winery direct, restaurants, select private wine shops BC 989.00 6000 winery direct, restaurants, select private wine shops Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: MerlotCSPC: 655431UPC: 776545803146