2007 Chariot Gypsy

2007 Chariot GypsyPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Jim Neal “The Chariot Gypsy 2007 is a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Sangiovese from great vineyards in the Napa Valley, and Sonoma, and Monterey Counties. Winemaker Jeff Hunsaker describes the wine like this: “The 2007 ‘Gypsy’ displays a dark garnet color with a clear violet edge. It shows mixed fresh berry aromas — raspberry and strawberry, with hints of white pepper and pastry. Very clean and lively with juicy berry fruit, firm acidity and a touch of smooth tannin. Excellent and versatile food wine particularly well suited for pork chops and poultry”. We think it is the perfect everyday red wine!”

What I Think:

For those that missed the shockwave heard around the Trader Joe’s world the Gypsy is back. After falling in love with the ’05 vintage and completely missing the ’06 I wasn’t going to allow myself to be short changed again. So when it began showing up in the wine aisle in early June I began my aimless search around the bay area for my beloved Gypsy. On my fifth stop, in San Rafael, I finally scored and two cases went into the cart (+1 extra so we didn’t have to open to scan). Whew, what a relief.

Now onto the wine itself. The ’07 is a blend of 37% Cabernet, 33% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah and 10% Sangoviese which is quite different than the previous vintages. Curious and hopeful I pour the wine in the glass, what’s the verdict? On the nose I get wet wood and faint floral and spice notes. On the palate it is lively, bright and juicy with loads of fruit. Raspberries that are a tad under ripe add acidity that is balanced by a subtle sweetness. This is followed by nice fruity, peppery, spicy finish. A fruit forward (some may say bomb instead) effort best served with food, you name it pizza, burgers, bbq. Any kind will work. Many recommend giving this one 15-30+ minutes to breathe so open it while cooking. If you’ve never experienced the Chariot Gypsy before this is a delightful $5 super value wine.

2007 Chariot Gypsy
Those that have experienced this wine before have a bit more of a conundrum. This effort is much simpler, not complex and lacks the depth of previous vintages. I compared the ’05 to the Rosenblum Heritage Clone Petite Sirah and felt it compared favorably with many $20 bottles. Yes, the label, retailer and price remain the same but given the changes in blend percentage and a new winemaker it is best not to compare this to previous vintages. Take it for what it is; “what you see is what you get” and that would be an easy drinking, summer BBQ wine. Enjoy!

Rating: Buy It (with a caveat, if you like this one treat it as a Bulk Buy as when it is gone, it is gone for good. Wondering if it is available at your local TJ’s? Check here

Editor’s Note (07-Jul-2009): Added a note on letting this one breathe for 15-30 minutes if you don’t initially find it agreeable.

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66 thoughts on “2007 Chariot Gypsy

  1. Well, I finally cracked into the few bottles I was able to score before the tide came in. Yummy! Everyone liked it at the BBQ we attended on Sunday and were wondering where they could get more ; ) I loved the blend and balance of this wine and I’ll take your advice and put away a few bottles for next summer.
    P.S. New Pinot Noir: Hangtime from Burgandy in stores now.
    Hearing good things. I’ll check it out and let you know.

  2. I swear I did let it breath! I even DECANTED it, as I do with all red wine I open (and with many whites, too). Maybe I got a funky bottle… but it just didn’t deliver for me! Just seemed really thin! Oh well, everyone else seems happy! :)

  3. @Angela Glad to here it is working for you! Let me know about the Hangtime…

    @Umamia Bummer, was hoping their might be an easy answer. Unfortunately no money back guarantee :( though would love to find a bottle that turns that frown upside down for you…

  4. I tried the Petit Verdot, and I really liked it a lot! Has anyone else had it? For me it tasted really “clean”, meaning the fruit seemed to be featured, without a lot of distractions. It had some spice in the finish, but somehow that seemed separate from the fruit. I feel like I’m not describing this well, but I definitely suggest giving it a try and telling us what you think.

  5. Hi Jason,

    Yeah, the Hangtime is $3 and we just got another 4 or so new wines in last night. I’m thinking about changing the Crew Tasting next week so we can try them all. I’ll keep y’all posted.

  6. @Carmen Thanks for the thumbs up on the Petite Verdot, it is on the shopping list so stay tuned…

    @Angela I would love to get some insider info on the new wines you got in. Anything exciting? Let me know once you’ve had a chance to take a look at them.

  7. @Scott Glad to hear you enjoyed it

    @Michael Glad to hear it was at least non-offensive for you. I presume you gave it some time to breath? If not and you decide to try it again let it get some air…

  8. Does anyone want to sell me a bottle of 2007 Chariot Gypsy? I won’t type the saga of why i’m looking but please contact me if you would be interested in parting with one of your bottles. I’ll work through paypal or money order… Thanks!
    email: athena0067@hotmail.com

  9. Okay, I am confused. The 2007 Chariot Gypsy is back (or so it seems) in MA and this time, according to our fearless flyer, it now contains Russian River Petite Sirah, Lodi Zinfandel, Cab, Merlot, Syrah and Petite Verdot. this is different than their web page which lists Sangiovese for the ’07.

    • @PeterB That is interesting indeed. Wonder if Chicago got this same batch. The conspiracy theorist in me says that the first one sold so well they sourced more (albeit different) grapes to create more supply. Thus the confusion that has now been created. How is the new version?

  10. Facinating! I haven’t heard anything through the usual channels.
    Is it only available on the East Coast and in the Midwest?
    I’ll try to see what I can shake up and get back to y’all.
    (New blend sounds yummy too)

  11. I am drinking a bottle from the first batch right now and, after demoing the new one for the past 2 days, I can state for certain that it is different than the current offering. Much more Zin-like on the initial mouthfeel, and not as light and fruity (bordering on candyesque) as the current one. Also, the new one is a dollar less.

  12. Hey Jason, nice review. I am demoing this wine today at store 653 in Foggy Bottom, DC. We have about 40 cases and I expect to blow them out this weekend’. I will let you know what DC says about this wine .


  13. @PeterB Hoping I get a chance to try the new blend but guessing there is none allocated for the west coast. BTW, did you say a $1 less as in $3.99? Any difference in labels with this new version? Angela, any chance this is headed our way?

    @Sbjenson So what did DC have to say about the new Gypsy?

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