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

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen Taken Chardonnay 2017

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn a recent vertical tasting, we had the chance to taste the Queen Taken Chardonnay from its inaugural 2013 vintage through the upcoming 2017 release. Queen 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 site is predominantly gravelly and coarse Stemwinder, Ponderosa, and Ratnip soils - rubble that originated from the fluvial fan deposits of the mountain above. Its exposition welcomes a very early and warming sunrise. At the same time, it protects the fruit from baking in the late day thanks to the shadow of Mount Kobau, thus extending the ripening season while retaining its bright acidity, an Okanagan Valley signature. Our first look at 2017 is favourable. The fruit was harvested by hand on September 14th after several weeks of smoky skies, but with no nearby fires, the was no immediate effect. The smoky inversion layer did ramp up mildew that thrived in the humid air, so you had to be on top of that, and as you might expect, they were at Checkmate. The wine was made in three batches mixing wild ferments and various other percentages of inoculated yeasts. The nose is a lovely floral affair with threads of wet stone/mineral note mixed with ripe tropical melons and citrus. The palate is equally intense nectarine orange marmalade notes with a dash of exotic litchi fruit. Only 8 barrels were made — all French oak, and 44 percent were new; the remaining barrels range from one to four fills. The texture and mouthfeel are as refined as it can be and bodes well for another three to five years of bottle ageing.Tasted: 29 August 2020Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 125.00 winery club members Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayCSPC: 514984UPC: 776545801999