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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen Taken Chardonnay
94POINTS
17½/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen Taken Chardonnay 2016

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 heat thanks to the early evening shadows cast by Kobau, thus extending the ripening season while retaining its bright acidity: an Okanagan Valley signature. Queen Taken Chardonnay is all about the 45-year-old vines of Dekleva Vineyard. It is the coolest Checkmate vineyard site that sits beside the newly renovated winery. Production-wise, the site was ready for the 2016 chardonnay crush, giving that year a leg up in production values over previous harvests. There was no rush to pick in 2016, and winemaker Phil McGahan got all he could from the site. The nose is sensational, mixing minerality, wet stones, stone fruit, and freshness that draws you into the glass. The palate is intense with silky textures, deep nectarine flecked with ripe red apples and perfect acidity. Texture, mouthfeel, minerality, length: it is all here, and will be through 2024 and beyond.Tasted: 29 August 2020Tasted by: Prices: BC 125.00 winery direct, restaurants, select private wine shops Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayCSPC: 514984UPC: 776545801548