"This is a complex chardonnay project. I am not going to use the Burgundy word but there is a resemblance to the Old World style. That said, why not think of Checkmate as part of the Next World style and the Next Okanagan."
–Anthony Gismondi, Wine Writer, Critic & Judge
"THE PROPRIETOR OF CHECKMATE ARTISANAL WINERY, Anthony von Mandl, has been described as ‘the Mondavi of the Okanagan’, but this is an understatement, for he has a formidable aesthetic vision as well as a vinous one. von Mandl has gone far, far further with an extravagance tamed by meticulous precision that has to be experienced."
–Steven Spurrier, Decanter Magazine, London 2015
“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.”
“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."