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Anthony Gismondi on Wine
CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen's Advantage Chardonnay
94POINTS
17½/20

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen's Advantage Chardonnay 2017

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaI had the chance to taste the Queen Taken Chardonnay from its inaugural 2013 vintage through the upcoming 2017 release in a recent vertical tasting. Queen Taken is a single vineyard wine located south west 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 that became washed down rubble originating from the fluvial fan deposits of the mountain above. 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 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 14 after several weeks of smoky skies, but there was no immediate effect with no nearby fires. The 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 yeats. The nose is a lovely floral affair with threads of wet stone and mineral mixed with ripe, tropical melons and citrus. The palate is equally intense, with nectarine and orange marmalade, and a dash of exotic litchi fruit. Only 8 barrels were made, all French oak, and 44 percent new; the remainder ranges from one to fourth fills. The texture and mouthfeel are as refined as possible, and bode well for another three to five years of bottle ageing.Tasted: 01 September 2020Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 85.00 winery direct BC 190.00 1500 winery direct Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayUPC: 776545802118