"These are some of the best young wines coming out of Canada today."
"The four expressions of Merlot, from CheckMate Artisanal Winery in Oliver, are an excellent illustraion of what this varietal is capable of."
"Do the wines live up to their expectations? I think the answer to that question is evident by the ratings of the wine experts".
WESTCOAST HOME AND DESIGN
"Many regard his $85 Merlots as benchmarks that, since his first vintage in 2013, have raised the bar for Okanagan Merlot."
OCEAN HOME MAGAZINE
"A team like that is capable of almost anything-especially producing another world-class Chardonnay from British Columbia's Okanagan Valley."
L'Abattoir welcomes Chef Lee Wolen of Chicago's Boka as the award winning Gastown destination hosts the first ever 'Michelin on the Road' dining experience in Vancouver, featuring BC's finest wines.
"Philip McGahan, the winemaker for CheckMate winery in Oliver, BC, matched his six Chardonnays from the 2014 vintage against price-comparative Chardonnays from Burgundy, Sonoma and Argentina’s Mendoza Valley."
KELOWNA DAILY COURIER
“CheckMate's vintages are crafted to take the Valley's wine industry to the next level.”
“Ripe nose; rich and dense with lush texture and mature flavours; long, intricate and intense; a surprisingly fine effort from Canada.”
“Competing with the commanding scenery of the Okanagan Valley is not an easy feat.”
“There can be no doubt that CheckMate wines compare favourably with the finest wines from the world's best regions.”
“Clearly not trying to imitate Burgundy, California or anywhere else. They are boldly British Columbian with elegance and complexity, refreshing acidity, and an endless finish.”
“Some of the best Chardonnays and Merlots from the Okanagan Valley are about to be showcased in a most unique way.”
“There is something about Okanagan Merlot, the red fruit and the acid perhaps, that suggests it could be headed for prime time.”
“The best wineries in British Columbia are producing more sinlge vineyard wines utilizing small parcels with unique expressions of terroir.”
“CheckMate Artisanal Winery has a singular focus on producing top quality chardonnay and merlot.”
BC WINE INSTITUTE
“The quaility of the Merlot is really strong for BC. The wine that I like the most was the wine that ranked first collectively, and there were several in the top half of the ranking which were really strong displays of the variety and the origin with aging potential, complexity and persistence.”
92 PTS “This cuvée spends 18 months in new French oak and produces just seven barrels. Lovely line and length with great integration of spicy wood notes, savoury, leafy apple fruit and lemon curd creaminess. Rich yet fresh, this should age well.”
“It’s safe to say, everyone involved is inspired by the great chardonnays of Burgundy, and there is a resemblance, but at the end of the day, CheckMate’s style is neither Old World nor New World but rather Next World, Okanagan Valley.”
“A pre-release tasting of six 2014 Chardonnays from CheckMate Artisanal Winery suggests to me that a 100-point Okanagan Chardonnay is imminent from this winery.”
Chantal Martineau highlights British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley as one of the great undiscovered wine regions of the world and the people who helped pioneer the region, including CheckMate.
“The five CheckMate Chardonnays each bear some consistent characteristics, but also remain different in some intriguing, fundamental ways… a tantalizing challenge for food matches.”
JOHN SCHREINER ON WINE
“CheckMate Artisanal Winery, which turned heads a year ago...is setting out to do the same with four impressive Merlot wines, just being released.”
CheckMate Artisanal Winery receives positive 90+ scores from senior editor Bruce Sanderson at Wine Spectator for the 2013 Chardonnays.
“Rich,oak-influenced nose; tangy and toasty with elegance, style and great depth; long, lush and showing great inlfluence. Tasting Panel, September 2016, Page 68.”
TASTING PANEL MAGAZINE
Tasting Panel's Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dias Blue reviews four of CheckMate Artisanal Winery's 2013 Chardonnays, giving them all 90+ scores with Little Pawn receving an impressive 93.
“We see this as a great opportunity. The climate, the soils here, all make it possible for us to do truly cool climate wines that are distinctive, elegant, wines that belong on the world stage.”
The wine grape has been called "the canary in the coal mine of agriculture." There's no question it has gotten far warmer in many of the world's wine regions.
GISMONDI ON WINE
From deciding where a pawn can be sacrificed to gain better position, to pitching single vineyard chardonnays at super premium prices you have to think your way through from start to finish. There’s no rushing in chess or wine.
JOHN SCHREINER ON WINE
Anthony von Mandl’s genius at positioning his Okanagan wines reached an absolute pinnacle this week when he launched CheckMate Artisanal Winery’s five Chardonnays in New York...
The event was held at Vaucluse Restaurant at 63rd and Park. In his introduction, Anthony said, "The wine grape has become the canary in the mine shaft of agriculture."
The study of how wine will react to climate change is one small but telling piece of the larger story of how agriculture as a whole will endure.
"As far as I'm concerned, the most exciting place to be in the wine world right now is the Okanagan."