CheckMate Artisan Winery 2013 Silent Bishop Merlot
Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
Silent Bishop comes from a mix of vineyards stretching from Oliver to Osoyoos that harness the flavours coming from the cooler, western side of the Okanagan Valley. The addition of eight percent Syrah and six percent Petit Verdot makes for a fragrant and focused red wine. Grapes were hand-harvested, sorted and destemmed prior to fermentation with indigenous yeast. Aging took place in 100 percent new French oak for 21 months. Look for upfront floral and red fruit aromas, with a brightness and restraint that’s a testament to the cooler growing areas. (The point of difference is readily apparent compared to riper expression of CheckMate’s End Game Merlot, sourced from the eastern side of the valley). I’m excited to see where this goes with some bottle age. That cool character will likely really charm your senses in two to four years time.