2009 Chariot Gypsy Red

This one is something of a Trader Joe’s legend – eagerly awaited every year as a potential value blockbuster. This year the price point is $4.99 – is it worth it?

For starters, what is it? This year Jim Neal Wines brings us an interesting blend of 34% Zin, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Petite Sirah, 15% Merlot, and 4% Sangiovese. It clocks in at 13.5% ABV, which makes it a positive lightweight for a Zin-heavy blend. I got a lot of pepper both in the nose and initial mouth impression. Fruit is straightforward cherry/plum, with a pleasant hint of chocolate. It’s a fairly sweet wine but not a fruit bomb, with extremely soft tannins that urge you to drink it now, because there’s no point in waiting. It’s not complex or challenging by any means, but a pleasant enough wine for 5 bucks – it would do well enough with pizza, spaghetti with meatballs or maybe a nice pulled pork sandwich…

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