Checkmate 2016 Silent Bishop Merlot 750ml
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The 2016 Silent Bishop Merlot was aged for 21 months in new French oak and comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This is sourced from three western benches of the southern Okanagan Valley. This, like most of them, seems quite similar on paper, but it handles the wood rather well, soaking some of it up with good mid-palate concentration. Then it shows off a real backbone, although as with the Opening Gambit, the tannins are still relatively ripe. With air, it acquires some complexity and far better balance to go with even more tannic pop. You can drink this right now if you wish, but that might be a mistake. It has some upside potential. Overall, it is another rather refined and suave offering in Merlot this report. As I said with some of the others, they are close enough that I won't be surprised if some flip-flop as they age. They should all age pretty well, at least throughout the decade. There were 179 cases produced. Drink now - 2033
Score: 93+ points -- Mark Squires, The Wine Advocate, 2021
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