Opening Gambit Merlot
$85.00* Suggested retail price
About this winery
The von Mandl family began their journey over 40 years ago. The first sign of the real potential of the vineyards came in 1994 with a surprise win at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London for ‘Top Chardonnay in the World.’ The family has developed exceptional vineyards with distinctive Chardonnay and Merlot clones, some of which are now over 40 years old, at what are now CheckMate Artisanal Winery vineyards.
An elegant nose of blackcurrant and black fruits with creamy undertones and floral notes. The palate is charming, with dark, ripe fruits, supple tannins and well integrated oak.
Our vineyards are nestled in the Okanagan Highland foothills of the Black Sage Bench, just southeast of the town of Oliver. The porous nature of the soil produces low-yielding, small grape clusters concentrated in flavour. This site borders the wilderness, where mustangs roam free. Gently undulating vineyard sites, well drained sandy soils and near perfect row orientation with abundant sun exposure combine to produce Merlots with refined red fruit flavours.
The naturally occurring strains of indigenous yeasts battle for supremacy during the fermenting process. These competing yeasts give the wines layers of texture and nuance. Malolactic fermentation gradually softens the wines during extended cellaring in oak. Post fermentation and maceration on skins, the wine is drained by gravity from the fermenter direct to barrel for maturation up to 21 months.