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The judgment of California: Charles Shaw chardonnay is state’s best

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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.

While the complete results of the competition are scheduled to be announced July 12, Renata Franzia, from Bronco’s Franzia family received the results Thursday.

Dr. Richard Peterson, veteran winemaker and a State Fair judge for 20 years, said, “We have the most open judging I know. There is nothing to bias judging. We get numbered glasses. We don’t know the region, brand or price. We evaluate the judges frequently to make sure they’re tops in the field. Charles Shaw won because it is a fresh, fruity, well-balanced chardonnay that people and wine judges — though maybe not wine critics — will like.”

Bronco president Fred Franzia said, “The customer has responded to our great values and now the judges to our quality. This is why we’re in business: To put the best wine possible on the customers’ tables at a reasonable price. I just wish some other retailers and restaurateurs had the courage and good sense to make these super-value wines available to more American wine consumers.”

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