Charles Shaw Nouveau Valdiguie 2007

Price: $3
Maker: Charles Shaw Winery, Napa County, California
Varietal: Valdiguié
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Alcohol: 12.5%
Our Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Charles Shaw Nouveau Valdiguié 2007 is a novel offering from the Charles Shaw Winery, the Two Buck Chuck folks. Departing from the typical Merlot and Cab, this wine incorporates the rarely seen Valdiguié grape. This wine was apparently well regarded more than a century ago, but fell out of favor as grapes which produced higher quality wines became more widely adopted. Some vineyards labeled wines of this varietal “Gamay Noir” for many years. I assume that this Valdiguie is the newly relabeled Charles Shaw Nouveau Gamay Beaujolais offered in 2006.

This wine is fairly light in color, an attractive ruby red. The aroma is mostly cherries, and the flavor is simple and fruity as well. Cherries and raspberries are the main things notes, with a very light acidic bite at the end. While not really sweet, this wine seems closer to fruit juice than most reds.

Of the Charles Shaw red wines, I’d probably opt for the Two Buck Chuck Cab. I didn’t care for the 2003 much, rating it a 7, but the 2005 was a bit more balanced. That’s not to say that Charles Shaw Nouveau Valdiguie 2007 won’t appeal to anyone – if you are looking for a soft, simple, very fruity red this wine might appeal.

We couldn’t find much love for this wine in the blogosphere. Vinicultured thought it was, “watery and cheap, off-balance, and ‘out of whack’”, while Adventures in Hippietown termed it “gross.” We might not go quite that far, but it’s safe to say that this wine would be preferred by wine drinkers at the fruity and fun end of the spectrum.

18 thoughts on “Charles Shaw Nouveau Valdiguie 2007”

  1. There is a time and a place for Charles Shaw. The time is large parties, and the place is in both hands–as in double fisting. This leads to hilarity or regret, often both.

    The valdiguie is not bad at all. To clarify, my description of “watery and cheap, off-balance, and ‘out of whack'” applies to Charles Shaw in general; specifically, the valdiguie is surprisingly quaffable. It is probably the best $1.99 wine in the market!

  2. Keep dissing on Charles Shaw Joon S.! Keep it cheap for those of us that know good wine does not need to be expensive. No one should be allowed to offer an opinion on wines unless they have spent enough time in France to understand how immature is the American observation on wine.

    My father was a French sommalier and a completely unpretentious wine drinker.

  3. gobytrain

    Nobody who’s spent time in France should be allowed to offer an opinion on wine! Their wines are second best and have been for quite some time… :p

    That said, we like Two Buck Chuck quite a lot, and tried the Valdiguié tonight for the first time. It’s quite fruity and (to me) way too sweet, but in the tradition of Charles Shaw, a darn good table wine for $2.

  4. I am a big fan of the 2 buck chuck, I went to purchase my regular Merlot but saw the Valdiguie so I tried it and thought it was great. I felt it was fruity with hints of vanilla. I was very impressed with the flavor.

  5. I tried the Valdiguie offering tonight from Charles Shaw and have to say that I enjoyed it quite a lot with a nice butternut squash ravioli tossed with garlic olive oil and parmesan. It’s fruity, light, and not overpowering for lighter fare. I also think it might make a great Sangria. Lived in France, currently live in Northern California, by no means a wine expert!

  6. I went to pick up my regular supply @ Trader Joe and tried the Valdiguie. I liked it and bought four bottles. It is perfect for and evening after a hard day at work went you just want to relax and reflect. You do not need an expensive wine for this and that including the taste is what makes this wine great.

  7. The Charles Shaw Valdiguie is a great inexpensive red wine. I tried it Saturday night and I’m on my way to buy a case monday. Thank you Trader Joe’s.

  8. this may make me a heathen, but I like my wines a bit on the sweet fruity side (still learning to appreciate the dryness of most reds). and I am really enjoying this bottle of Valdiguie.

    1. Sweet fruity wines…once drank a great cherry wine while attending Chico State…people laughed at my love for the cherry wine…but I don’t care what others deem good…I drink what I deem good – I’m not a second-hander – cudos to you, G…drink what you enjoy…those that think they have a monopoly on what is good wine and what is not are akin to those who have bought into the idea that it is “proper” to move your soup spoon away from you, rather than toward you – there are no rules in this arena..God love ya!

  9. I picked a bottle of Charles Shaw Valdiguié, and very much enjoyed it. It is exactly what I was looking for, a lighter wine, style pinot, which won’t give me a headache like all the California cabs & Merlots.

    I know I will get tired of it after a while but that is true with every cheap wine.

  10. I’m sitting here just back from Trader Joe’s and this Valdiguie is mighty fine by me. Three cheers for Trader Joe’s!

  11. Speaking of Validguie, try the J. Lohr Wildflower 2007. It is around $8 a bottle. I got some at L.A. Wine Company for $6.99.

  12. Add my name to the Valdiguie fans. Tried it for the first time recently and find it a nice mellow alternative to the cabs and merlots, etc. Bonus points for being something my lightweight girlfriend will drink. (I have a degreee in French and have spent time in France, and have had French friends, as well as fries)

  13. This is a veritable bargain for the price. I am really quite tired of the wine snobs and esoteric language “hidden notes of chocolate” and all that nonsense. We are sorry we live so far away from a Trader Joe’s. The next time were are near one that purveys wine, six cases of this baby will ride home with us!
    Kudos on this one. I think we once knew this grape as a “Gamay”

  14. I have yet to read the straight story on Charles Shaw. Does Bronoco actually vinify the stuff or do they buy bulk from other producers? The reason I ask is that the ’08 Nouveau tastes suspiciously like Beringer’s Nouveau, made in the carbonic maceration style. In fact, it tastes as good as the $12 DuBouef Nouveau that I bought a bunch of last Thanksgiving. I’m wondering if they’re buying Beringer’s overage, if Beringer is even doing Nouveau at all any more. Whatever the case, the stuff is eminently drinkable.

  15. I’m drinking it, though not out of a box, it is quite the compliment to my frozen cheese pizza. I found it on the counter in the kitchen one morning, I think someone in the house was using it to marinate a rabbit carcass. I’m not sure, but I delicately chilled it and shazam, here I am on this very website posting about it’s delicate aroma. Speaking of which, no matter how far I stick my nose in it do I smell much of anything. I swish and swish yet cannot detect hints of either vanilla or raspberry, though I’ve no doubt it is there.

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