2010 Chariot Gypsy

2010 Chariot Gypsy Shelf TalkerOnce again the Gypsy… Trader Joe’s one and only cult wine has become more and more of a polarizing topic with each vintage (it’s first was 2005). Is it still good or merely riding on the coattails of what it once was? If there is one thing I’ve learned about Trader Joe’s wine over the years it is that popularity expands production. Coupled that with the fact that price points don’t change and there is only one direction quality can go. And the Gypsy has been following this general trajectory for years. Perhaps most interesting to me (and thanks to Don for pointing this out via email) is wondering why this wine was released 4 months earlier than typical? Previous vintages of this wine have hit the shelves generally around February. Couple that with the fact that it appears the production of this vintage is half of what it was in 2009 and it leaves a lot of questions. Where did that leave us on the 2010 vintage? Read on…

Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

2010 Chariot GypsyPer Chariot Wines …well actually they are still talking about the ’09 so for now here were my first thoughts on sampling the 2010 vintage.

What I Think:

(13.5%) 63% “Mystery Dry Red”, 22% Cabernet, 15% Merlot – Gone is the heavy Zinfandel component and accompanying Petite Sirah typical in previous vintages. The 2010 is sweet on the nose and a touch on the palate with juicy cherries, soft acidity and a short, spiced, creamy finish. Simple and pleasing but (while a bit heavy on the palate) perhaps as good for what it isn’t, not cloying, harsh or flabby, as what it is. While this wine doesn’t excite me if you need a solid $5 table wine you can sure do a lot worse than this…

Rating: Good but… (this is a $5 bottle that tastes like $8 at best. Best for those that prefer a sweet, juicy red)

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7 thoughts on “2010 Chariot Gypsy

  1. I like the way the Chariot and Rabbit Ridge reviews are juxtaposed. My tuppence: I like the Chariot for what it is, a lighter-bodied red where heavier reds seem to predominate.

  2. just finished a 2007 Chariot Gypsy – it was GREAT!! So glad I found your site and that I can again buy it at TJ. Hopefully my Glendale store will have some next week.

  3. I am living in Lake Forest, IL. Your location for the closest TJ is absolutely wrong. It shows a location in Waukegan, where there is no TJ. The one that should be shown is the address below, it is the closest and only one in this Zip code area.

    Trader Joe’s Northbrook (682)
    127 Skokie Blvd
    Northbrook, IL 60062
    847-480-9280

  4. Hello, is anybody home? Hope all is well in the Land of Jason.

    Howdy all,

    Chariot 2011 is here and delicious:
    32% Merlot, 28% Syrah, 12% Zinfandel, 8% Petite Sirah, 20% “Dry Red”
    Cherry & Oak on the nose, bright cherry & toast on palate with nice acidity and a good finish. $5 Dollar Favorite Once Again. Get your cases while you can!

  5. Hi Angela-
    How does the 2011 compare to the 2010? Debating on how much to get when I go to TJs…and I didn’t *love* the 2010.

    Thanks!

  6. Jenn, I blind taste-tested a 2008 Chariot from my cellar and preferred it to the 2011 Chariot. That said, pick up a bottle of the 2011 and see if you like it. That’s the beauty of a $5 wine.

    In other news, the new Tribunal hit the Southern California stores this morning.

    Also, I’ve been enjoying the TJ’s 2011 Petit Reserve Cab from Napa Valley (PNA Wines) for $7.99.

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