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

CheckMate Artisanal Winery Queen Taken Chardonnay Dekleva Vineyard 2018

Golden Mile Bench, Oliver, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, CanadaIn a recent vertical tasting from 2013 – 2017, I noticed Queen Taken had been leaned out over the years, becoming a far more interesting wine at slightly lower alcohol and increased freshness across the palate. It 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, all rubble originating from the mountain above's fluvial fan deposits. 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. The nose is a lovely floral affair with wet stone and mineral notes mixed with ripe tropical melons and citrus. The palate is equally intense, featuring nectarine with a dash of exotic litchi. I love the texture and mouthfeel of the Queen Taken label and its general refinement. It is simply getting more serious each year. Only nine barrels were made, all French oak and 46 percent new, with the remaining barrels ranging from one to four fills. In 2018, the Dekleva clone chardonnay was joined by a small percentage of Wente Clone 72, the first of several Heritage California clones coming into production on the Dekeleva Vineyard.Tasted: 12 June 2021Tasted by: Anthony GismondiPrices: BC 125.00 winery club members Producer: CheckMate Artisanal WineryDistributors: Mark Anthony Wines and Spirits
Grape: ChardonnayCSPC: 514984UPC: 776545801999