TWO BUCK CHUCK TASTING – MARCH 2012
by Wayne Belding MS
While shopping at a Trader Joe’s I was gazing at the impressive amount of floor space devoted to Charles Shaw (aka Two Buck Chuck) wines, all for sale at $1.99 a bottle. It’s pretty amazing that wine can be made, bottled, labeled and shipped for a price that low. So, I decided to give them a try. It was only a $12 investment for a half dozen varietals, so the risk was low. My impressions were mixed, but there are some extraordinary values in the group.
All California Appellation
2011 Pinot Grigio:
Simple nose of lemon and peach, suggestion of oak. Nondescript on the palate with peach fruit initially, little middle and a weak finish. Cleanly made.
2010 Sauvignon Blanc:
Hints of grapefruit and grass at the nose. Clean flavors with lemon and grapefruit plus herbal nuances and just a bit of layering on the mid-palate. Shows Sauvignon character. Well done for $2.
Relatively neutral nose of peach and apple. Nondescript, slightly sweet flavors of apple and peach with vanilla-oak tones. Some mid palate fullness. Slightly hot finish. Cleanly made.
Light ruby color. Blackberry and black cherry fruit aromas with herb and vanilla hints. Clean on the palate with blackberry and blueberry flavors plus vanilla, herb and spice hints. Very good for $2.
2010 Cabernet Sauvignon:
Medium ruby color. Blackcurrant and blackberry fruits on the nose carry through to the palate followed by green pepper, tobacco and spice hints. Cleanly made and shows Cabernet character. Very good for $2.
Medium ruby color. Black cherry fruit plus herbs and vanilla at the nose. Noticeable residual sugar on the palate. Cherry fruit plus a stewed vegetable note make this a lesser wine. Cleanly made but lesser quality that the other reds.