Wine Review: Three-buck Chuck Shiraz

I’m taking a page from Professor Bainbridge’s book and will start including wine reviews on this site. Let’s start with the trendy phenom that, at least here in the middle of the country, is “Three-buck Chuck”. Charles Shaw has recently released a 2001 Shiraz, and it’s got all of the features you want in a value-for-money New World shiraz: fruit (particularly black cherry and black raspberry), roundness in the mouth, full taste throughout. If you let it aerate in your glass for about 5 minutes, the tannic bite that you’ll get from any young wine dissipates, and the fruit comes out. While it is not as well-rounded or as nuanced a wine as the Cimicky Trump’s Shiraz 2001 that we had Friday night, it had the unmistakeable characteristics of the varietal. Speaking of which, the Cimicky Shiraz and Grenache-Shiraz are very good choices for when you are willing to spend $15.

Although the flavor is a little thin, it is an outstanding $3 bottle of wine. I think it’s the best of the $3-buck Chuck varietals, even better than their excellent Sauvignon Blanc.

8 thoughts on “Wine Review: Three-buck Chuck Shiraz

  1. I find the $3 Cabernet is best about 24 hours after opening. Still not good, but drinkable.

  2. I’ve always attributed it to shipping costs; it’s $3 in OH also. I think they source their grapes from all around NoCal, and age/bottle in Napa. So the Napa appellation weenies are in a tizzy about their being able to put “Napa” on the label.

  3. Well, if you’re going to do wine reviews a la Bainbridge, then so am I 🙂

    I remember reading about “Three Buck Chuck” not too long ago. I’d really like to try it sometime. Unfortunately, its not available here in Ontario, Canada. Even if it was, it would probably be more like Twenty Buck Chuck (and not due to transportation costs either. Booze is provincially regulated here by the LCBO).

    Professor Bainbridge’s latest offering on Bonterra applies equally well to the 2001 Chardonnay (one of only a couple of organics available here).

  4. Yes, in Ca it is ‘Two Buck Chuck’ and yes, it is price discrimination and market reality.

  5. I recently tried a bottle of Shiraz from Trader Joe’s stock and was astounded that a $3.00 bottle could be so smooth and solicited such great comments of praise. I went back and bought a case.

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