Checkmate 2019 End Game Merlot 750ml
End Game is born on two South Okanagan benches that line up on the warm eastern side of the valley. Their sandy soils primarily define the Black Sage Bench and the Osoyoos East Bench, but the multiple expositions and elevations help produce a range of flavours and styles heightened by long days and plenty of warm, late day sun. This was native fermented with 50-55 days of skin contact, and 21 months in new French oak, mostly St. Martin and Deptos Bordeaux. The nose is rich in black raspberry and whiffs of sassafras that spill onto the palate. The finish is long and persistent, with plenty of desert scrub sagebrush notes that remind me of Bolgheri. Dense, rich tannins suggest it will age well into the late 2020s. Again, lamb is a good match.
Score: 93 points -- Anthony Gismondi, gismondionwine.com, 2022