Price: $4.99 @ Trader Joe’s
What They Said:
Per Jim Neal “The Chariot Gypsy 2007 is a delicious blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Sangiovese from great vineyards in the Napa Valley, and Sonoma, and Monterey Counties. Winemaker Jeff Hunsaker describes the wine like this: “The 2007 ‘Gypsy’ 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:
For those that missed the shockwave heard around the Trader Joe’s world the Gypsy is back. After falling in love with the ’05 vintage and completely missing the ’06 I wasn’t going to allow myself to be short changed again. So when it began showing up in the wine aisle in early June I began my aimless search around the bay area for my beloved Gypsy. On my fifth stop, in San Rafael, I finally scored and two cases went into the cart (+1 extra so we didn’t have to open to scan). Whew, what a relief.
Now onto the wine itself. The ’07 is a blend of 37% Cabernet, 33% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 10% Syrah and 10% Sangoviese which is quite different than the previous vintages. Curious and hopeful I pour the wine in the glass, what’s the verdict? On the nose I get wet wood and faint floral and spice notes. On the palate it is lively, bright and juicy with loads of fruit. Raspberries that are a tad under ripe add acidity that is balanced by a subtle sweetness. This is followed by nice fruity, peppery, spicy finish. A fruit forward (some may say bomb instead) effort best served with food, you name it pizza, burgers, bbq. Any kind will work. Many recommend giving this one 15-30+ minutes to breathe so open it while cooking. If you’ve never experienced the Chariot Gypsy before this is a delightful $5 super value wine.
Those that have experienced this wine before have a bit more of a conundrum. This effort is much simpler, not complex and lacks the depth of previous vintages. I compared the ’05 to the Rosenblum Heritage Clone Petite Sirah and felt it compared favorably with many $20 bottles. Yes, the label, retailer and price remain the same but given the changes in blend percentage and a new winemaker it is best not to compare this to previous vintages. Take it for what it is; “what you see is what you get” and that would be an easy drinking, summer BBQ wine. Enjoy!
Rating: Buy It (with a caveat, if you like this one treat it as a Bulk Buy as when it is gone, it is gone for good. Wondering if it is available at your local TJ’s? Check here
Editor’s Note (07-Jul-2009): Added a note on letting this one breathe for 15-30 minutes if you don’t initially find it agreeable.