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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Knight's Challenge Chardonnay
91POINTS
16¾/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Knight's Challenge Chardonnay 2016

Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIt is year three for the Knight's Challenge label that originates in Sunset Vineyard on the Black Sage Bench. Here elevation changes and east/west row orientations present winemaker Phil McGahan with several options at the end of the growing season. The site is planted to 25-year-old vines and Dijon clones 76 and 95. McGahan likes clone 76 for its structure and organization to keep the wine taught. Clone 95 brings richness and generosity, filling out the mid-palate. The two blocks are distinctly different, allowing for separate pick dates to maintain the balance of power and acidity. Naturally occurring ferments have climbed to 69 percent, and post ferment, it is aged 16 months in French oak, 46 percent new. Knight's Challenge presents as a new world chardonnay with its creamy underbelly of stone fruits and butter. Yet, it equally sits within the bounds of a next world chardonnay with its savoury, mineral, green desert sagebrush flecks. If you like the softer, rounder upfront style of all the Checkmate labels, this is it. Crab, lobster, and truffle pasta dishes are perfect matches.Tasted: 18 October 2019Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 85.00 Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayUPC: 776545801708