2009 Chariot Gypsy

Ah the Gypsy… Now I’ve written enough a dissertations worth on this one over the years. Trader Joe’s one and only cult wine has become quite a polarizing topic. Is it still good or merely riding on the coattails of what it once was? I can tell you based on my first take that without a doubt this wine was once much better than it is today. That said where did I net out on the 2009 vintage?

2009 Chariot GypsyPrice: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per Chariot Wines ” The Chariot Gypsy 2009 tasting notes are coming soon!” Well that sure is helpful! Looks like you are stuck with my opinion…

What I Think:

(13.5%) 34% Zinfandel, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Sirah, 15% Merlot, 5% Sangiovese – Dark fruit, spice and barrel on the nose. Juicy on the palate, decent acidity through the mid-palate before a short to medium sweet, creamy vanilla finish. This one fares better when just opened or with food in my humble opinion otherwise it comes off as overly sweet at times (much like the ’08). Speaking of the ’08 I’ll have to do a vertical Gypsy tasting sometime soon to confirm my suspicions. While this wine doesn’t excite me for $5 you you can sure do a lot worse than this…

Should you buy it? The Gypsy is a polarizing wine so let’s start with whether or not you’ve had the Gypsy before. If you have did you like it? Your answer to that question is the same as to whether or not you should buy this vintage. For those that haven’t tried it give it a go. For $5 you can do a whole lot worse. I bought six and am half way through that batch. I like it for what it is; a simple, easy going Tuesday night wine pizza kind of wine that you don’t have to feel guilty you’re not paying too much attention too.

Rating: Buy It <- If you answered the questions above correctly...

What’s your take? Do you like the ’09 Gypsy? Or think it is just riding coattails and memories?

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21 thoughts on “2009 Chariot Gypsy

  1. This may be moot. I picked up a few bottles seveal weeks ago and haven’t seen the stuff on the shelves since. Likewise the Rabbit Ridge.

  2. Just almost finished my last bottle of the 07 and it was even better than when I first tasted it back in 08. Wife and I just couldn’t believe how good it was. I have a small amount left and shall do a vertical with the 08 and 09, but don’t have great hopes, although the 08 is quite drinkable.

  3. Jason,
    This vintage is my first experience w/ the Chariot Gypsy and I loved it. After drinking my first bottle, I returned to TJs and bought half a case. Personally, I appreciated the fruity and almost sweet qualities of the wine. I’ve had it with food and enjoyed sipping it by itself while watching TV. Both have been good experiences. Goes back to the fact that enjoying wine is a personal experience. That’s why I appreciate your reviews because you always explain WHY you liked or didn’t like a wine. For example, if you like a balanced wine and are turned off by something too fruit forward, it good to know that’s what you didn’t like, because then I know I would like it. Depending on the wine, I can sacrifice balance for certain fruit bombs!
    I’ve really enjoyed your reviews. Great job!

  4. Just picked up a couple bottles tonight in Phoenix and was excited to open the first bottle. I’ve tried several vintages and agree with Jason that the overall quality has decreased a bit over the years. However, my first impression of the 2009 Gypsy is pretty favorable. Not incredible, but for $5.00, I think it’s well worth it. Very drinkable….a bit sweet, but not ridiculous and I think it’s pretty nice overall. I will buy a case of this and keep it around.

  5. I just did a vertical tasting with the 09,08 and my last bottle of the 07. The latter had even improved with age and was absolutely a magnificent wine. The 08 was so acidic and rough it almost went down the sink,but I shall save the rest for a pasta or highly spiced meal. The 09 was much better. Lovely color and good body and much less acidic than the 08. It’s a good everyday wine to have with pizza or pasta, but not even close to the 07. There are other better values around but if they are not available to you, then this one is o.k.

  6. I have to agree that the 08 has completely fallen apart already. Virtually all the fruit is gone. Based on the 09 having if anything even less tannins and fruit to start with, I predict little to no short-term aging potential.

  7. I had the 2009 Chariot Gypsy for the first time last weekend over at a friend’s house. Could not help but ask how much it cost and where I could buy it from. I was surprised at the low cost for such a delicious red wine. I have stocked up my home bar with a couple of cases of the red chariot gypsy. It is a very easy and smooth wine. Definitely worth the price.

  8. I love this wine, although I never tried the first. Does anyone have suggestions of similar wines in the same price range?

  9. Finally cracked open my ’09 this past weekend. Here we go:
    Nice cherry and raspberry on the palate with a little spice on the finish.
    Much better than the ’08, super easy drinking and a crowd pleaser for sure.
    One of my friends is going to pick up a case as a Sangria base for this summer, which I know will be delicious. Heck, if I had room, I’d buy a case, but I’ll just have to be content with a few more bottles.

  10. Really enjoying this year’s version of Gypsy. I found the fruit more vibrant and less “stewed” than last year. Agree there are less tannins so drink now don’t cellar.

  11. I’d like to follow up on my previous comment. I’ve warmed up to this wine and am starting to dig it. It is much better after it’s had a day to air out.

  12. I finally found this wine at the TJs on Lincoln in Chicago. Bought three bottles last night and returned for half a case after trying a glass last night. I was so surprised with how smooth and delicious it was. I really enjoyed this wine and it’s such a great value for $5. Definitely better than many $10-15 bottles I’ve had and I didn’t feel guilty just sipping it with some chocolate on a weeknight.

    The cashier told me that they have been rolling it out differently this year – a few hundred bottles at a time per store and would be doing so for a few months.

  13. I like this wine, especially at the price. Is it as good as previous offering, meh… but if you haven’t tried it, you should. Another wine to try, if you can find it, is the 2009 Tribunal. What a huge wine! Cocobon is still available in MA as is Chariot Gypsy. Tribunal is gone, baby, gone.

  14. I bought Chariot last year, I loved it!
    So I picked up this year again, 2009. I like 2008 better.I felt 2009 is very sweet, yes sweet for me. I’m so surprised. But I think Chariot is one of great easy-on-the-purse wines!!
    Still my neighbor store has stock.

  15. Would you say there’s a big difference in taste between a $5 dollar bottle of wine as opposed to a $10-$20? Also, will you have another wine posting anytime soon? Can’t wait!

  16. I second Karina’s request for more wine reviews! You’re the man Jason!

    It’s just my personal opinion, but most $5 wines do not match Trader Joe’s quality, so the difference between a $10-$20 bottle and Trader Joe’s $5 is not much. I’m usually happier with Trader Joe’s wines than most $20 bottles. Other $5 bottles I’ve tried, not so much, but Trader Joe’s is awesome, I should start my own Trader Joe’s wine blog. My obsession started with Jason. ;)

  17. Thanks for your input Bree! I haven’t really tried to purchase wine that is under $10 dollars, since I’ve had some bad experiences with that. But I will definitely shop around for a bottle when I’m at Trader Joe’s! Have you had the chance to try other bottles as well and if so, what would you recommend that isn’t too sweet? Haha I second that you should start a Trader Joe’s wine blog! =)

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