So by coincidence, I was just there two weeks ago and tasted through all the Checkmate wines. They're actually quite good and in fact, were the best Chardonnays I tasted. There's some pretty good wine being made up in BC these days so I'm planning to go back soon.
Checkmate also had Gabriel Glas for tasting, and two wonderful girls, one of whom had gone through the WSET courses, so they're clearly on a mission to be one of the premier wineries in the region.
That guy Schreiner has been reviewing those wines for a while and you can't escape his scores. They meant nothing to me because I had never heard of him, but he's clearly the guy who's developed some history and expertise, having been tasting all those BC wines for a number of years. Consequently, if I were interested in TNs from critics, I'd probably give him some consideration rather than someone who was tasting the wines for the first time.
Not a knock to Bruce, who is a good taster, but Schreiner has been tasting those wines and watching their development, so I guess he would have more credibility, but I'd prefer to taste for myself, so that's what I did.
At any rate, to revive this thread after a number of years, the Checkmate wines are absolutely good Chardonnays. Far better than a number I've had from Napa and elsewhere in CA. But there's far more Chardonnay being made in CA and elsewhere in the US, so you can't really compare "California" to BC. There's some good Chardonnay in CA and I don't know, for me $85 for a Chardonnay, even with the 25% discount for the Canadian dollar, is a lot of money. Chardonnay isn't my favorite white grape anyway, and since you can get really good stuff for $25-30, I'll stick with that. But if you're a Chardonnay fan, Checkmate is worth a try. I'd take that style over styles like Aubert, Kongsgaard, Kistler, etc., The Checkmate wines are lighter in body, more crisp, and while oaked, it's less dominant.
Anyway, that's just my take after a mere week tasting wines up there. I'm sure there are people who are far better qualified than I to opine on the wines.