2008 Chariot Gypsy

We interupt this regularly scheduled post for a public service announcement; there have been confirmed sightings of the Gypsy up the coast in both Portland and Seattle. This concludes the use of the emergency broadcast system.

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2008 Chariot GypsyPer Chariot Wines “The Chariot Gypsy 2008 is a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Sangiovese from great vineyards in the Napa Valley, Sonoma, San Joachin, and Monterey counties. It 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:

Ah, the long lost post. I had grand plans for this one until the day job threw them to roost. When Steve asked last week where it was I decided it was time to close the loop here. So let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

My going in question was can they maintain the quality as they expand the production. As a reminder the demand for ‘07 vintage was so high they produced two lots. Given I have seen many of my other Trader Joe’s favorites journey this road to mediocrity I feel I have reason to be skeptical. When it arrived, I headed out to grab some straight away and video blogged my first sips from the parking lot. My take was that the ’08 was juicy, fruit forward and a nice easy quaffer. Now that the wine has had a few months in the bottle and I’ve gotten to sample it a few times what’s my take?

The nose is pleasant showing red fruit, oak/barrel and clove notes. The palate starts with jammy, ripe berry flavors. Towards the mid-palate the fruit becomes slightly flabby before being wiped away by an unexpected lively, racy acidic backbone that is full of white pepper. The finish is of bright, tart raspberries. This one is warm and ever so slightly sweet (less so than the ’07) throughout which make the connotations of the “cherry coke” of wine more true than false. That said, given the acidity it may be better suited for pizza than an early evening on the patio. And for me that is what this one is a simple, straight forward Tuesday night wine that is easy to drink. For $5 this is more than you should expect, use it accordingly and you aren’t likely to be disappointed.

For more on this one check out this great take from Viva la Wino!

Rating: Buy It (while you can)

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39 thoughts on “2008 Chariot Gypsy

  1. After having been depleted for over a month in Local area (Long Beach, North OC), Chariot seems to be widely available again. I picked up 2 cases but have to admit, I am getting a bit bored with it.

    I’ll leave it for a while as this stuff seems to immature and may need more bottle time.

    Let me know how y’all find it and tell me if this is any different from the earlier release this year.

  2. Picked up 1/2 case in Cambridge, MA yesterday. A few bottles were left on the shelf (didn’t ask if there’s more).

  3. Attention Gypsy Fans:
    A WHITE version may be in the works as we speak. In the NCA Order Guide as “Coming”.
    I’ll keep ya posted.

  4. Ok gang, I bought a bottle because I couldn’t wait any longer:
    Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli and Marsanne

    The Gewurztraminer seems to have highjacked the nose on this one. Nice fruit & flowers.

    On the palate, the rounder, fuller flavors of the Muscat & Gewurztraminer come through and its hard to taste anything else. It’s definitely off-dry, similar to the Autumnus but without the cleansing dry finish.

    It reminds me of the juiciness of the ’07 red, but without the tannic structure that helps bring things together.

    It’s a nice bottle of wine and many people would probably enjoy it, but I expected a whole lot more pizzazz. With several similar white blends on the shelves right now, it didn’t really stand out from the crowd.
    I’ll finish this bottle and then get some
    more Autumnus.

    Rating: 12th bottle

  5. The reason for the “12th bottle” rating is that perhaps under the right circumstances with the appropriate cuisine, I’m hopeful that it could shine.

  6. It’s a coming! I got confirmation today that the 2009 Chariot Gypsy Red will be available in 2 WEEKS! I did some research and the 2009 will be a blend of:

    34% Zinfadel
    30% Cabernet
    15% Merlot
    5% Sangiovese

    I Hope it is as good as last years or maybe even better.

  7. @JB: Thanks for the update.
    I wasn’t really a fan of the ’08.
    I’m hoping the ’09 will be more like the super-delicious ’07.

    Hmm… 34+30+15+5 =84
    I wonder what the rest of the blend will be.

    • If you look at the QIL for the Chariot you will see that they up-dated the info. I will have to look again but those are the only grapes that were listed. I just might have had a brain-fart. I will look again today.

  8. OK sorry for the miss-information. The Blend is:

    34% Zinfandel
    30% Cabernet
    16% Petite Sirah
    15% Merlot
    5% Sangiovese

    Can’t wait to try it!

  9. Coming to a store near you this week!
    I’ll keep you posted as soon as I get some in.
    Hopefully by Friday, since that’s when we’re supposed to have a Flyer Tasting.

  10. A friend has already seen it (the 2011) in So Cal (but hasn’t tried it yet….) Am I missing a post about this somewhere….? I can’t believe my friends are ahead of you all, lol!!

  11. A friend has already seen it in So Cal (but hasn’t tried it yet….) Am I missing a post about this somewhere….? I can’t believe my friends are ahead of you all, lol!!

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