CheckMate Artisan Winery 2013 Attack Chardonnay
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
CheckMate is the ambitious Chardonnay-focused boutique winery where Australian native Phil McGahan is able to craft distinctive, vineyard-specific white wines with the utmost care and attention. The debut line-up is impressive across the board, but my attention keeps coming back to the small batch Chardonnay from what’s known as the Barn Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. The Attack Chardonnay was fermented and aged in a new foudre (a large 1,000 litre barrel). Tasted on separate occasions over the course of eight months, the exotic spice and floral fragrance continually make this a standout. It offers appealing texture and harmonious flavours with real presence from start to finish. Certainly a label to watch as the 2014 vintage offered impressive poise and character when tasted at the winery in December 2015.