Is the Roman Empire on the decline, or is the rest of the world just catching up?
$4.99 exclusively at Trader Joe’s. 34% Zinfandel, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Sirah, 15% Merlot, 5% Sangiovese.
The label gives no info on this wine, so let’s go to the winemaker:
Youthful bright ruby color with forward red cherry and plum aromas. There is a floral component reminiscent of roses or gardenias that is accented with sandalwood, black tea leaves and pencil shavings. The flavors remain true to the intriguing bouquet with mouth-filling fruit and a bit of white pepper on the long, lingering finish. Tannins are sweet and present enough to provide for some aging, but this wine is meant to be consumed while it is young and fresh.
As spring is upon us and the weather is more conducive to outdoor activities, this wine is the perfect accompaniment to the first barbecue of the season. It is a great match with grilled chicken or tri-tip and I cannot imagine a better wine to drink with a cheeseburger. It even went well with jalepeno jelly glazed salmon that I roasted last night!
This is a legendary wine that helped elevate Trader Joe’s beyond Two Buck Chuck, but one that I’m experiencing for the first time. Based on past reports comparing this to a $50 wine, it has definitely fallen off; however, that doesn’t mean this is a bad wine. The 2009 Chariot Gypsy starts off fruity and sweet followed by some spice and maybe even a bit of cranberry. Really nothing not to like here. My only complaint is that there’s really no finish, it just kind of disappears, but overall an easy wine to drink.
This wine reminds me of another inexpensive red blend at Trader Joe’s currently, the Tres Pinos Cuvée (also $4.99), although maybe a little smoother. And herein lies the good news. Trader Joe’s (and other stores) stock a whole bunch of sub-$10 wines right now that are as good or better than this one (and I’m giving this wine a Buy rating). The category has really blossomed in the last few years, which means it’s a great time to be a wine drinker. Whether or not the Gypsy has really fallen off, or the everyone else has just gotten better I’m not sure, but I’m guessing it’s some of both.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.
Overall Rating: 7.0
All ratings use a simple 10 point scale with 10 being the best. Find out more about my rating systemhere and check out the Interactive Wine Ranking to find all my reviews! You can sort by type of wine, cost, rating, etc. in the interactive spreadsheet.