Okay, this is a repeat post from last year, but the latest vintage of the wine in question just appeared at TJ's (2007) and it is, if anything, even more scrumptious than the one described below! And STILL the same price of $4.99! Ah, Jim, you are a winemaker extraordinaire!
If you’re a wine lover, you’ll know that the more you taste, especially as you taste better wines, the more difficult it is to find a truly satisfying wine for a bargain price. By ‘bargain’ I’m talking under 10 bucks, although it’s easier to find a nine dollar wine with some complexity than, say, a five dollar wine. I miss the days when a bottle of Black Mountain Fat Cat Cabernet from TJ’s was all I needed to make my tastebuds happy. I still have a deep sentimental attachment to that particular wine…but it doesn’t quite do it for me the way it used to. So when I find a really good wine for under 10 bucks these days, let alone five bucks, it’s a gift from the gods…specifically Bacchus. And I found one today. Dave and I were doing a quick TJ’s run before the monthly Sisters in Crime Nor Cal meeting and…
Hmmm. I shouldn’t be sharing this information. I should be hoarding it like Smaug horded his gold before those nasty little hobbits (we hates them, we do, yessssss, preciousssss) showed up and ruined his mellow dragon lifestyle. I should keep my mouth shut and insure that the supply of my new grapey love will be at my local TJs for a few months.
I find an unsuspected spark of nobility within my dragonish soul and even a bit of guilt at the thought of NOT sharing this new wine find. So…here it goes.
2005 Chariot Gypsy. The label shows a woman in a red head scarf astride a chariot, very much in the vein of a Major Arcana tarot card. The back only says it was bottled by Jim Neal wines in St. Helena, California. Nothing about varietals. I have no idea what grapes were used in the making of this wine (although its rich, spicy characteristics lead me to suspect a zinfandel or syrah in the blend). The price tag? $4.99. The placard in the store said One Time Buy. When it’s gone, it’s gone. So I had to try it. We took it to the SinC meeting and cracked it open aong with an inexpensive Spanish cava. The cava was okay. The Chariot?
This is a winner, folks. As mentioned, it’s rich and spicy, almost like a Sangiovese (hmmm…maybe…) and goes REALLY well with pizza. It’s got a lot more complexity than most 4.99 wines and the bottle was quickly emptied by the attending Sisters who are into red wine. We stopped at TJ’s on our way home and bought some more of it to make sure the one bottle hadn’t been a fluke.
So if you’re a wino and have a Trader Joe’s in your neighborhood — or know someone who willl ship it to you — hie yourself hence and get some of this wine! You will not be sorry.
I will, though. Because when it’s gone…it’s gone.
Now excuse me while I curl up on top of the remaining bottles