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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen Taken Chardonnay
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17/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen Taken Chardonnay 2014

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaQueen Taken is a single vineyard wine located Southwest of the town of Oliver, beneath Mt. Kobau and the Thompson Plateau on the Golden Mile Bench DVA. It was initially tagged the Heritage Vineyard in 2013, but ever since, it was named the Dekleva Vineyard in honour of the family that first planted the unknown chardonnay clone now more than 40 years ago. The west side valley soils are predominantly a gravel-based mix of coarse Stemwinder, Ponderosa, and Ratnip soils that are the washed down rubble of the fluvial fans that define the Golden Mile sub-GI below Mount Kobau. Its exposition welcomes a very early warming sunrise. At the same time, it protects the fruit from baking in the late day thanks to the early evening shadows cast by Kobau, thus extending the ripening season while retaining its bright acidity, an Okanagan Valley signature. It's been a while since we last tasted this vintage, but it is holding on with tenacity. 2014 was a warm year, but the McGahan picked with enough acidity to balance off the ripe fruit and give it obvious freshness even now in the mouth. Citrus peel, white peaches, tropical fruit, and some barrel reduction notes bump up against a whack of mineral/flinty/wet stone character, helping to freshen the wine. Longer hang time and night picking further sharpened the edges. It is at its peak right now. It was 88 percent wild fermented, and the final wine was aged 16 months in French oak barrels, of which just under half were new. The final production was limited to seven barrels. Impressive and ready for a lobster feast.Tasted: 29 August 2020Tasted by: Prices: BC 125.00 winery club members Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayCSPC: 514984UPC: 776545800558