A Wine Lover’s Diary, part 721: Tasting CheckMate Chardonnays


All 2015 – the hottest year on record in BC. But winemaker Philip McGahan managed to maintain balancing acidity by picking early.

CheckMate Capture Chardonnay 2015: Bright straw colour; peachy-pineapple nose with oak spice and vanilla notes; medium to full-bodied, dry, butterscotch and pineapple flavours with lively acidity. (92)

CheckMate Queen Taken Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, lightly toasty, apple and citrus nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, apple and lemon flavours with a firm, nutty finish. (90)

CheckMate Queen’s Advantage Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, apple with a touch of undergrowth on the nose; medium to full-bodied, dry, very Burgundian, elegant, richly extracted, apple and tangerine flavours; lovely mouth-feel, great balance, great length. (93)

CheckMate Little Pawn Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, spicy, toasty, apple and lemon bouquet with a floral grace note; medium to full-bodied, dry, rich and full on the palate, beautifully balanced, apple, green pineapple and orange flavours. Great length. (94)

CheckMate Knight’s Challenge Chardonnay 2015: Wet stone and citrus nose with a light floral note; medium to full-bodied, dry, leaner on the palate, apple and lemon flavours with crunchy acidity. Great length and balance. (92)

CheckMate Fool’s Mate Chardonnay 2015: A blend of all five vineyards – earthy, leesy, toasty, vanilla nose; medium to full-bodied, powerful, apple and lemon flavours. Good long finish with an intriguing hint of bitterness on the finish. (91)

CheckMate Attack Chardonnay 2015: Minerally, vanilla, spicy, lemon peel and starfruit with a toasty oak note; medium to full-bodied, richly extracted, green mango and citrus. Great mouth feel and a long finish. Beautifully balanced, lovely mouth-feel. (94)

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