The Shaw Organic Rose’ 2017 is a $3.99 Trader Joe’s exclusive, the Shaw in the name is Charles Shaw better known as 2 Buck Chuck. The Shaw Rose’ is sourced from certified organic vineyards, they mention Cottonwood Creek vineyards, so this isn’t 2 Buck Chuck, it’s 4 Buck Chuck. If an organic $3.99 wine isn’t unique enough, it has a Helix screwcork, yes, a cork that screws on and off, so this is a resealable bottle. Shaw does not list the grapes that are in the blend, but their other organic Red wines are a Cabernet Sauvignon and a Pinot Noir, so maybe one of these are included. Here is the remarkable thing about under 4 dollar organic wine, certified organic vineyards can be labor intensive, disease, mold, fungus, pests can all prey on grapes and vines, so vineyard workers have to stay on top of things. One of the complaints against the vineyard used for 2 Buck Chuck, whether true or not, is that the vineyards are not tended to as meticulously as vineyards producing more expensive wines. With organic vineyards there are no shortcuts, it takes years to get the certification and afterwards it takes a great deal of vigilance to maintain the vineyards. The Shaw Organic wines even have their own website with some good information and some wine fact sheets, that is something plain old 2 Buck Chuck was never given. The alcohol content is either 11.5% or 12.3% depending on if you believe the back label or the Shaw Organics website.
The color is a pale pink with a slight amber tint. The nose is delicate, maybe slightly shy, there is cherry hard candy, a faint bouquet of flowers, a little lemonade, and a hint of raspberry jam (not sweet). This is a dry Rose’ with solid, balanced lip smacking acidity. It tastes of tart cherry and ripe plum, this is not a fruit-forward Rose’. The mid-palate adds pink grapefruit and melon, along with an unexpected slap of minerality. The Shaw Organic website mentioned watermelon as a main flavor, which I didn’t taste, but I see what they are getting at, there is something that is the texture of watermelon juice in the mix, but I thought it had more of a sour cherry flavor than watermelon. The acidity is well controlled and the finish is subtle but lasts a long time.
I always thought that 2 Buck Chuck was OK for the price, but the Shaw Organic Rose’ doesn’t have any “for the price” qualifiers, it can stand on its own. It is an excellent bargain at $3.99, especially since this is a full-time production wine and not some one time deal that TJ’s happened to get a hold of. I don’t think it is delicious, but it is certainly very drinkable and the balanced acidity will keep you reaching for another sip. It is amazing that they can produce an organic Rose’, this good, for $3.99.