Your Take on the Gypsy

2008 Chariot GypsyWith my review of the ’08 vintage still a few days away (I wanted to give it 3 weeks in the bottle first) I thought it would be fun to highlight some of tasting notes that you all from the community have shared over the last few weeks. Many of those mentioned below are long time contributors whose opinions I value. You will see they all are fans to a large extent, that said there have been a few naysayers (two to be exact) but none left any detailed notes to include. My opinion, as it stands, is that this is a juicy, straight forward, enjoyable wine and at this point worth $5. My hope is that with some rest it becomes something more. Now let’s see what you all think…

Mike Kauzer: If you didn’t know, you might think it’s a Pinot. Not at all like the 07. Light, not sweet. Subtle mid palate. I like it …. maybe 3-4 cases, but it’s not the wine I was expecting.

UCLA92: Picked up 2 case last night in Irvine (Woodbury location). Nice wine. As others have stated, it is different than the ‘07. You can almost see your hand through the glass. Nose of red fruit, white pepper and menthol. Fruit forward wine with some pepper and oak. Medium body with some structure. Not sweet like the ‘07. Great everyday wine.

Danny: Wow! Are you kidding me? This winner has a QPR which is off the chart, in a good way. The 2008 Chariot Gypsy is an excellent multi-purpose quaffer that offers enticing aromas of bright, wild, red berries, smokey toast and spice leading to fresh, red fruit flavors with a white pepper core and a zesty finish of orange peel and dark chocolate. Easy, smooth and delightful. My rating, as converted in conformance with Jason’s Wine Blog ratings, is “Bulk Buy.” I think this wine would be great with pizza, burgers, BBQ, steak, lamb, meat stew or by itself. I’m told that the Irvine Trader Joe’s has an allocation of 90 cases and no more. When they’re gone, they’re gone.

Charlie: The 2008 Chariot Gypsy is in at the Clovis CA TJ’s!! Bought a bottle this morning and had a lunchtime tasting with the wife. Another winner from Jim Neal, the 2008 is a solid value at $4.99. A young fruity 13.5 wine that should benefit from more time in the bottle. The missus says it’s less sweet than the 2007 and I have to agree. We aerated ours and it still needed time in the glass to open up. Still, we liked it and plan on buying more tomorrow!

Jerry Klein: YES the 2008 version of Gypsy may be the best yet. At $4.99 this wine drinks like a $12-15 bottle. Agreed it does need more time in the bottle. (Only in 3 weeks b4 release. Did have 12 months ageing b4 release. 72% Zin/Petite sirah; Cab & Sanjo 24% balance 2% each merlot & Syrah. After another six months in the bottle should be even better. !! Hurry and grab this one now!

Jesse Porter: I just poured my first bottle of the ‘08 to a group of friends following a Sauv Blanc tasting. After all that tart acidity, the Gypsy came on really strong and jammy, but once our palates had acclimated to the fruit, it proved a big winner. Doesn’t change in the glass or “open up” as much as previous vintages did, probably because it’s a bit less full in body and intensity, but the flavors are definitely still there. I agree with what’s been said… this is a more versatile wine than the ‘07, if slightly less uninhibited.

joshiemac: Had my first bottle over 2 nights. Not much nose. Softer than the ‘07, showing supple berry fruit and a splash of acidity. Doesn’t have the jamminess of the ‘07, either. Has the mouth feel of a Merlot. Somewhat weak in the mid-palate, but gained more density here on night 2. Drank this right off the truck so I look forward to seeing where it goes in the next few months. Glad I have a case to track its development. Enjoyable right now, if somewhat simple, it could become another QPR superstar with some time in the bottle!

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14 thoughts on “Your Take on the Gypsy

  1. Yeah, we tried it again last week at work and it was sooo much better after 5 hours of air time.
    My palate says that the ’08 has more Petite Sirah than Zin and therefore isn’t as jammy as last year.
    I’ll be picking my 6 bottles this week and let y’all know when the supply is starting to run low.

  2. While it’s a decent evening glass of red, I see this more as a fantastic summer wine, to be paired with a smoked pork shoulder, ribs, and even a thick steak. Most of my bottles are sitting in the cellar, waiting for June.

  3. @Angela Glad to hear you are seeing the same thing I am. I’m stocked up but sure others will always want to know availability. Think there was a sighting in New Mexico but has some folks from AZ, WA and VA asking if I could help in shedding light on when they might find it in their stores. Not sure if that is the realm of your possibility but if so I am sure it would be widely appreciated.

    @joshiemac Still needs a lot of air IMHO. Guessing it optimally means two to three more months in the bottle which aligns it well for BBQ season as mentioned in Andy’s comment.

    @Andy I agree with your headed, outside in the summer heat and evening sun this wine would find itself in potentially ideal surroundings. Hope it delivers come June!

  4. As I commented over at Viva La Wino, I think the Gypsy is a great bottle of wine to have around when you’re hanging out with friends who like wine (or like drinking) but aren’t into wine. There’s no sense wasting a complex and nuanced bottle on someone who won’t notice the difference or won’t even care about the difference to begin with.

    I brought the Gypsy to several BBQs & parties filled with people who couldn’t care less about wine and they loved it.

  5. I’ve never tried Chariot Gypsy before but had asked my wife to stop by TJs for a bottle of Green Fin (which I wanted to taste). One of the TJs crew told her Gypsy was the ‘real’ gem and it has just come in. She brought one home.

    Without any real idea of what was in the bottle, we tried it with our favorite local pizza, which has several rather flavorful cheeses on it and we always add some pepper flakes. Our first tastes of the wine, came before eating any pizza. At first it seemed a little light on the palate (probably the cab), but as it opened up a little we got more strength of flavor and some of the zin, petite sirah, and sangiovese.

    I wouldn’t say this wine was best suited to a strongly cheesed and peppery pizza, but it held up OK. DEFINITELY a re-buy for many other pairings. At $4.99, I can appreciate all the hooplah here. Thanks Jason.

  6. @Jason: Yeah, unfortunately I don’t have information for Gypsy Status outside of CA. It wasn’t in AZ, NM, WA or OR’s Flyer, so they weren’t included on the Flyer Information Sheet.
    I haven’t figured out all of the nuances and e-mail addresses of the Wine division quite yet, but I’ll keep working on it.

  7. It’s a very approachable, casual wine. Look forward to it settling down in the bottle and also for its uses in the Summer.

    Thanks for your BLOG; your posts are both fun and helpful.

  8. This was good… for a sub $5 bottle. That said I found the finish to be a little flabby. I picked up two bottles and will enjoy the second, but I don’t think I will return to buy more.

    …really appreciate the blog Jason. Thanks!

  9. Hey Jason – I’m confused…..did you ever actually review the ’08 Gypsy? This one starts off stating “With my review of the ‘08 vintage still a few days away….” and it was written on February 22nd. I’ve been waiting anxiously for your take on the Gypsy, but I haven’t seen it! Let me know if I’m missing it. Thx.

  10. Still no Gypsy here in MA and no definitive word on when we might expect it. Lots of rumors though.

    In the mean time, we are thoroughly enjoying the ’07 Hamilton-Stevens Dry Creek Valley Zin, which we paired with the new Creamy Parmesan (crusted with black pepper) cheese for a tasting.

    Looking forward to the new Gypsy, will keep you informed on when it comes in

  11. The Gypsy arrived in Seattle this past week. My wife brought home a bottle, we popped the top and enjoyed it so much and she went back for a case the next day! Great bottle for 4.99.

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