Thursday, February 25, 2010

"They Got This Recession On" Wines, Part 11


Chariot Gypsy 2008

I was all set to knock off the cheap wine bit for a while and give this series a rest.  But as Denise and I strolled into Trader Joe's my eye was grabbed by a stack of unfamiliar wine bottles.  I inspected the new material and found Cab, Petite Sirah, Zin and Sangiovese involved.  My favorite suspects.  A five dollar sticker meant that even if it turned out to be horrible, it would be no big loss.

Perish the thought.  Chariot Gypsy is a very nice wine.  Yes, it's an everyday wine.  That doesn't mean it can't be good every day.

First, it pours up as a deep, inky purple.  I can barely see through it.  There's raspberry on the nose along with some bright cherry and a smokey element.  The palate features tons of fruit - blackberries and blueberries - in a rather dark but accessible fruitiness that is right up front.  Fruit bomb?  Yes, thank you.  But there's enough going on to make it an interesting explosion.

The wine has a nice acidity, but it's not overdone. Firm tannins provide plenty of backbone for food pairing.  It tasted great with chicken sausages with onions.

Chariot Gypsy is available exclusively though Trader Joe's.

Winemaker:  Jeff Hunsaker of Jim Neal Wines
Variety:  Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, Sangiovese
Appellation:  California
Vineyard:  various in Napa, Sonoma, and Monterey counties
Vintage:  2008
Alcohol Level:  13.5%
Price:  $5
Acquisition disclaimer:  Purchased by the author