Wine of the Week: 2009 Cupcake Chardonnay

Since I'm too old to trick-or-treat, I thought a bottle of California Central Coast Cupcake Chardonnay (sent to me by Underdog Wine Merchant) would satisfy my need for a treat this Halloween. Perhaps it's a mental trick, coming from a confectionary-named vineyard, but it is an exceptionally sweet Chardonnay. Not sweet in a syrupy way, but sweet in a pleasantly balanced, Riesling sort of way.

Aged for nine months in oak barrels, a unit of measurement we humans like to refer to as gestation, it also undergoes malolactic fermentation - a process where malic acid is converted to lactic acid, which gives it that buttery, creamy and decadent characteristic - as well as extended aging sur lie, which also adds a layer of complexity (so they say).

It has a creamy mouthfeel (get your mind out of the gutter, folks) as well as a pleasant, refreshing sweetness balanced nicely with the acidity and herbaceous quality. I assume it was produced to appeal to a broad audience of wine drinkers, considering the 100,000 cases produced by the vineyard. This broad appeal and a reasonable price tag may make the wine snobs of the world turn up their noses, but they'd be missing a complex, creamy and affordable Chardonnay at $14 a bottle.

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