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

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Opening Gambit Merlot 2018

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaGambit 2018 mixes 85.5 percent merlot with 7.5 percent petit verdot, 4 percent syrah, 3 percent cabernet franc, and one percent malbec. The fruit comes off 26-year-old vines on a steep undulating slope on the Osoyoos East Bench, 330m to 437m above sea level, boasting multiple expositions. The wine has been on an upward curve every year, and in 2018 it again surprises with an enticing fragrant, savoury nose รก la Bolgheri, and its now trademark silky textures. It gets a cluster by cluster hand sort before it is destemmed to undergo an individual berry selection. The ferment is natural, and it aged in new French oak barrels for 21 months. The fruit is an intense mix of black cherry, raspberry, cassis, tobacco, and stony, black tea notes. Soft, round, and charming, it is already showing signs of early drinkability. All Checkmate reds are bottled unfined and unfiltered, so they will need to be decanted at some point in their history, one that looks long by the quality of this wine.Tasted: 11 February 2022Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 95.00 winery direct, wine club members BC 215.00 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: 776545803108