The Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2019 is sourced from vineyards in Monterey County south of San Fransico Bay inside the Central Coast AVA of California. Cupcake Vineyards is one of The Wine Groups’ sixty-plus labels of wine.
Check out the link above, their wines are available everywhere and I figure your local supermarket sells at least 10 of their brands. They say that overall the quality of wine has never been better. The expensive wines have always been pretty good, it is the more affordable end of wines that have shown great improvement.
Cupcake Vineyards is a “taste of the world” wine brand. The Pinot Grigio is from Italy, the Sauvignon Blanc is from New Zealand, and the Malbec is sourced from Argentina. The Prosecco is from Italy, the Cava is from Spain, and the Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2019 is from California’s Central Coast.
Monterey County is an interesting wine destination. The water off the Pacific Coast is some of the coldest in the whole ocean. The vineyards can be found in coastal areas, high altitude Mountain regions, valleys, plateau’s, foothills, flat ground, and rolling hills, they have a little of everything.
As a brand wine, that means the wines are not tied to a single winery or vineyard, there is not much information available about the making of this Chardonnay. They did offer a couple of pertinent details, first, this Chardonnay is oak barrel fermented. That is a production technique seldom seen in ten dollar Chardonnay. They actually do not mention any oak barrel aging.
As a 2019 vintage wine, it could not have had too much aging of any kind. The second detail is the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. That is a process that changes the naturally occurring tart flavored acids in the wine to rounded, softer tasting acid. Almost all Red wines use malolactic fermentation and Chardonnay is one of the rare White wines to benefit from the process.
It is typically used with wines that have some sort of oak conditioning. Central Coast, Monterey County grapes, barrel fermentation, and malolactic should make the Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2019 a solid example of California Chardonnay. The alcohol content is 14.1%.
Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2019 Tasting Notes
The color is a clean, clear wheat yellow. You can often tell how much oak conditioning a Chardonnay had by the color, the deeper the yellow the more time in the barrel. It is hard to tell anything about the oak program with wine this young, 2019 vintage selling in 2020.
The nose is apple, peaches, and pears, with butterscotch, a hint of butter, and lemon chiffon pie. This is a tasty little Chardonnay, creamy, and lightly buttery.
It tastes of butter, apples, lemons, lime, soft spice, and tart grapefruit. I sometimes find the butter in certain Chardonnay to be a bit too much, but here it flows with all the flavors. The mid-palate brings a slice of Key West lime pie and apricot. The acidity is fine, it allows the flavors to get where they need to good and does not bite.
- The Cupcake Vineyards Chardonnay 2019 is a well-made, tasty wine and a bargain. I found it for $8.99 and it is a solid Chardonnay.
- The Cupcake website that they have a female winemaker, Jessica Tomei. I am always kind of surprised when they make a big deal about the winemaker’s gender. Why wouldn’t the winemaker be female? It is not like the job requires massive upper-body strength. I can not think of one reason why a man could do the job better than a female or why a woman would be preferable to a man. Winemaking is about dedication and talent and those are not gender-specific traits.
- Anyway, Jessica did a really nice job with this Chardonnay.