Ottawa, ON

September 2017


Matt’s review: CheckMate Artisanal Winery produces some of the finest Chardonnay and Merlot in the world from their Golden Mile Bench winery situated in Canada’s wine capital, Oliver, BC. The 2013 Black Rook Merlot is an outstanding expression of ultra premium Okanagan Merlot. Sourced from the Black Sage Bench, Black Rook is a deep ruby colour, the nose is so rich with bramble berry pie notes making the first impression followed by mocha, raspberry, anise, cedar, and a touch of menthol. The aromatic profile seems to combine the finest elements of Napa, Barossa, and Valpolicella, but proudly 100% Okanagan. The palate is remarkably plush whilst also being very refreshing and textured, with layers of delicious dark fruits and sweet spices, all elegantly balanced in this deeply concentrated and robust yet very harmonious wine. It weights in at 14.4% and thanks to its beautifully balanced structure it’s as smooth as silk making it a great wine to enjoy now. Perfectly integrated tannins magically appear on the refreshing finish reminding you just how elegantly structured this magnificent wine is. One of the finest single varietal Merlot wines I’ve tasted. Although drinking beautifully now, this will be absolutely stunning over the next 10+ years as the rich fruit characteristics evolve. Only 9 barrels produced.  Enjoy 2017-2030.  Tasted bottle 2598 in September 2017. 95 points. Matt Steeves –

Available winery direct – $85