2016 Checkerboard Kings Row remains an expression of the Aurora Vineyard which is located in a small valley midway up Diamond Mountain on a large knoll at an elevation of 1,200 feet. Six acres of the vineyard are planted in the knoll’s rich, volcanic soils riddled with basalt cobble in a loamy red clay. The remaining six acres are planted in a deep gravely mix of white volcanic ash and chips of decomposed Rhyolite that were washed down from the steep, rocky crags of Diamond Mountain above. The 2016 vintage is a watercolor painting of swirling black, blue and red. Fresh cranberries, ripe cherries, blueberries and blackberries abound and are misted with red pepper flake, dried and savory herbs, caramel and milk chocolate bar. Natural acidity supports the density of this wine and its lengthy, lingering finish.