It’s back! The 2009 Chariot Gypsy returns…

Chariot GypsyIt’s official! Between comments, email, twitter and facebook I have heard numerous reports of the 2009 Chariot Gypsy appearing on shelves across California. Now those familiar with the blog will need no further introduction. For those that don’t, the Gypsy is as close as it gets to a $5 cult wine. What’s that? A cult wine has to be expensive? I disagree, it only has to inspire wide spread passion! And trust me this one does.

So what can we expect from the wine? Sadly the Chariot Wines site has yet to be updated with the latest vintage but sources tell me it is a blend of 34% Zinfandel, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Sirah, 15% Merlot, 5% Sangiovese (thanks JB!). How does this compare to past vintages? The stellar 2005 didn’t have any Zinfandel or Merlot. The 2007 closely resembles this sans Merlot (37% Cabernet, 33% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah, 10% Sangiovese) whereas the ’08 had a much heavier Petite Sirah & lighter Cabernet component. I think the bigger question is can they maintain the quality as they continue to expand the production. The normal road for many of my old Trader Joe’s favorites is a journey to mediocrity after a few vintages and I fear the Gypsy may be headed down that path. What are people saying so far?

I’ve seen a review posted on Beards & Bellies, a tasting note on Cellar Tracker, received three emails and four Facebook notes on appearances and opinions. Thankfully most of them have been favorable to date. As for myself I have yet to track this one down but will surely be headed to Trader Joe’s tomorrow to see if I can’t find it. I am surely anxious to give it a try.

How about you? Have you found it yet? If so what did you think? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Happy hunting!

2009 Chariot Gypsy Finder Map
As I know people often wonder where they can find the Gypsy I decided to create a map to tracking sightings. Let me know where you’ve spotted via the comments and I’ll add it (or you can do it yourself as I shared it) to the map! Cheers and thanks in advance for making everyone elses hunt easier…

View 2009 Chariot Gypsy Finder in a larger map

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36 thoughts on “It’s back! The 2009 Chariot Gypsy returns…

  1. I am the wineaux in chief at store #133 in Burien WA… We got it! Seems Chariot is getting more and more fruity and less structured with every vintage. If you liked the earlier incarnations of Gypsy, you might not be as inclined to scoop up a case but I have no doubt that the cult appeal for the wine will carry Jim Neal STRAIGHT to the bank in his own ruby-encrusted chariot!!!

  2. Lots of the Gypsy in the Vancouver, Washington store. Display is at the front of the store. Probably won’t last long.

  3. Alright people, here we go:

    Side by side, 2009 vs. 2010

    2009: Medicinal nose, predominately cherry and light smoke on the palate, easy drinking, light to medium-bodied.

    2010: Red fruits and roses(?) on the nose, very inviting. Medium-bodied, ever so slightly chewy with more depth & structure than the last few years. Dark red fruits with a smoky finish. It made want to keep going back for more.
    Super duper tasty for $5!
    Go buy your cases before they disappear.

    I’ll be putting a bottle in each of my
    adult nephews gift baskets this year.

    • Sounds very promising Angela! I stopped into the Trader Joe’s near my office today (Bay St. in SF) and no sighting yet. I’ll try again tomorrow…

  4. @Jason: Yeah, we’ve got the Fearless Flyer happening through Sunday and then maybe other stores will start putting it up.
    You can always come over to my store ; )

    BTW, Day 2 with just the cork in it sitting on the kitchen table:
    Juicy and drinkable very much like 2007

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