The Cupcake Vineyards Riesling is sourced from vineyards located in the Mosel Valley of Germany. The vineyards in the Mosel Valley are planted on steep slopes that run down to the Moselle River and Riesling comprises about 60% of all the grapes grown. Cupcake Vineyards is one of UnderDog Wine Merchants labels and UnderDog is owned by The Wine Group (used to be Franzia), the 3rd largest US wine company. The Cupcake Riesling was hand picked since they couldn’t get machines up the steep slopes of the vineyards and was aged “sur lie”. “Sur lie” or “on lees” is the wine making process where the dead yeast and small bit of grape residue are left in the tanks along with the wine during fermentation and aging. The added material impart some depth and a slightly nutty flavor to the wine and when stirred regularly (the Cupcake Riesling was stirred for 2 months) adds a smooth creamy texture and sensation to the wine, in this case I think it was done more to counter the grapes natural high acidity. The alcohol content is a low 10%. This wine was bottled by Villa Wolf, one of the Dr. Loosen Estates.
The color is Del Monte peaches in heavy syrup yellow. The nose is pretty, but subdued. Pear, apricots, lemon cream pie and Magnolia blossom. This is a very tart wine that is balanced by nectar sweet fruit. It tastes of 7up (but not sweetened), dried pear slices, subtle Sweetarts candy and orange juice. There is a very nice syrupy mouthfeel that gives the wine a substantial feel. The mid palate shows a very light brush of minerality and dried apricot. The finish has some weight behind it, the tart and sweet flavors along with a solid amount of acidity help the finish roll along for quite some time.
The Cupcake Mosel Valley Riesling would serve as a solid introduction to German Rieslings. I found it for $8.99 , it lists for $13, but is often discounted. This is a Riesling that is definitely on the sweet side, but is well balanced by strong tart flavors and a solid amount of acidity. The Cupcake Mosel Valley is a German Riesling that would pair well at your Thanksgiving feast for your guests who do not usually drink wine. A Riesling that is easy for beginners to comprehend and wine geeks wouldn’t complain about.