In a decision that will surely make Fred Franzia grin and every other California winemaker cringe, Charles Shaw Chardonnay was judged to the the best example of that varietal from California:
The Charles Shaw 2005 California chardonnay (yes, the $1.99 “Two Buck Chuck” made by Bronco Wine Company sold at Trader Joe’s) was judged Best Chardonnay from California at California State Fair Commercial Wine Competition.
The chardonnay received 98 points, a double gold, with accolades of Best of California and Best of Class.
“Since we judge all wines totally by variety without different brackets for price, this double-gold achievement by the Bronco winemakers is astounding,” said G.M. Pucilowski, chief judge and director of the competition. [From Napa Valley Register]
We liked the Charles Shaw Chardonnay when we tasted it, though we didn't quite score it as our best Chardonnay ever. We did suggest that it could be passed off as a much more expensive wine, and apparently the California judges reached the same conclusion.