Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc..I'm impressed!

I recently received some samples of Cupcake Vineyards wines. You've probably seen Cupcake if you shop for wine online or at some brick and mortar stores. My first exposure to Cupcake was perhaps a year or so ago when I had a glass of their Red Velvet, a blend of Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. I recall the wine being good especially since I was having it with random hors d'oeurves at a party. Later that night I cracked a bottle of Brunello, which obviously dominates my wine-memory of the evening.

Anyways, the first of the two Cupcake wines I tasted was the Sauvignon Blanc. All the grapes come from Marlborough in New Zealand. The winemaker, Adam Richardson, used stainless steel tanks versus oak barrels to ferment the wine in. After that, it underwent extended aging sur lie, meaning the wine was sitting in the lees, which are dead yeast cell and bits of grape skin and pulp. This can help tame the acidity and add a fleshy richness to the wine.

2010 is considered (by people in the know) to be a good year in New Zealand. Given that, it only stands to reason that Cupcake made a delicious Sauvignon Blanc. I chilled this for about 15 minutes just to allow for the somewhat warm day. Right away I smelled notes of lemon custard, lime-washed rocks, hints of perfume, passion fruit and that "traditional" New Zealand grassy note. The way each scent fit into the overall picture put a smile on my face

I'd describe this wine as a clean, dry white wine that's lighter in body with great citrus flavors. I tasted lemon peel, hints of pineapple and passion fruit, and right through the mid-palate, what felt like Bartlett pears! Almost reminiscent of some of my favorite whites of all time..Sancerre's! Unfortunately, the finish left me wanting more, it felt too abrupt and under-developed. Still, Cupcake's Sauvignon Blanc delivered some very nice quality at a supremely reasonable price.

You can expect to find Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc for anywhere between $7-13, it's SRP (Suggested Retail Price) is $14. I rate this wine a B, with a solid BUY recommendation. For those of you who salivate over numerical scores, I would rate this an 84/85 points. If you happen to see a bottle of the 2010 at your favorite local wine retailer, give it a shot! I think you'll be happy you did. I should add, and though I rarely say this kind of endorsement, I fully intend to buy another bottle to pair with some tilapia fish tacos I'm going to try making soon. The mango-chipotle salsa I'm going to attempt would pair brilliantly with Cupcake's S.B. There may or may not be a blog about that experiment, depending on a singular thing: whether or not I remember to take pictures!

Disclosure: This wine was sent to me as a sample for review.

Beau Carufel


  1. Well written post! Love that you had a chance to try Cupcake wines and write this review. I have been hearing a lot about them, especially with all the commercials on TV and was intrigued to give them a try. The Sauvignon Blanc sounds delicious and will have to give it a try now. Sounds like it will pair well with a lot of fun flavourful dishes.

  2. I've had both the 2008 and 2009 vintages of the Sauvignon Blanc, so I'm not surprised by the 2010 being good as well.

    Their 2008 Pinot Noir is pretty good too, especially for the price point. It also tastes like Pinot, which makes sense since it is 96% Pinot Noir.

  3. This is the second favorable post I've read about Cupcake wines (in general...the first one was Vindulge's post back in Sept. focusing on their Pinot Grigio and Riesling)...I guess it's a sign that I must pick some up and try it! :)

  4. I really enjoyed that one too, and gave it a great QPR rating of 92. Your descriptors were spot on. Cheers!

  5. Just goes to show you, a truly delicious wine doesn't have to cost a ton of money, sometimes you gotta look beyond the Wine Spectator ratings and labels to consider the juice inside. A (to me) un-New Zealand New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Wonderful stuff!