Tried these three bottom-feeders from TotalWine last night:
1. Frosting Buttercream Chard Calif VintnersReserve (13.5%; VintnersReserve:"receives an extra layer of frosting") V&B by ButtercreamWnry/AmericanCanyon 2016: Med.dark gold color; strong buttery/diacetyl/movie theatre popcorn rather buttery/oakripe/melony/Chard/tropical fruit/pineapple quite lush nose; soft/fat/underacid/porky light tropical fruit/Chard/pineapple strong buttery/diacetyl/oak/movie popcorn rich/lush/off-dry (0.7-0.8% r.s.?) rather simple flavor; med.long soft/fat/porky slightly sweet strong buttery/diacetyl/movie popcorn slight Chard/tropical fruit finish w/ an aftertaste of heavily buttered toast that goes on&on; boring as hell but not actually as revolting as I expected; loads of butter but not that obviously oak; probably never see'd the inside of a barrel in its life; clearly a manufactured/confected Chard as only FredFranzia could do; speaks of Chard w/ a whisper; way overpriced at $19.00 (TW)
2. Dom.des Hunaudieres Dd'OP: Luberon Les24 (95% Clairette/5% Bourboulenc; 12.5%; SarantyImports) JeanGuichet/Luberon; B by Maison Denuziere/Condrieu 2018: Med.yellow color; pleasant enough pear/floral/rather CdRBlanc light stony/chalky rather quiet nose; bit soft light chalky/stony some pear/apple/floral some CdRBlanc slightly off-dry (0.2%-0.4% r.s.?) bit vapid/dull flavor; med.short bit soft light stony/chalky slight pear/floral finish; a pleasant enough if bit vapid/boring CdRBlanc but well below the Guigal CdRBlanc; speaks quietly of Clairette but BFD; way overpriced at $11.00 (TW)
3. Bellini DessertWine Tuscan (16%; SarantyImports; 40% Malvasia Toscano/40% Trebbiano/10% Grechetto) CantineBellini/Rufina NV: bronze color; strong grapey/passito/orangey light earthy bit oxidized slightly complex nose; soft quite sweet orangey/passito/grapey bit alcoholic/hot slight earthy flavor; long ripe/grapey/passito/orangey bit earthy finish; supposed to be like VinSanto but neither the complexity nor oxidation; a pleasant enough dessert wine but just that w/ its only redeeming feature the sweetness; overpriced at $20.00/hlf (TW)
A wee BloodyPulpit:
1. KeithLevenberg gave this wine a strong recommendation as one of the best "natural" wines he'd tried, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I walked into TW ystrday morning & showed the sales rep (I find them always a bit pompous & full of themselves) the pic of Keith's Facebook post and asked me if he had this wine. With a smirk on his face, he directed me to the floor stack.
This is what the TW WebSite says:
Originally Posted By: "TW"

California - Tastes like silken butter dripped over a fresh croissant. A decadent Chardonnay perfect for enjoying on the dock of the bay, the backyard, with friends, or really anywhere! Vegan

The puff piece describes a wine that sounds utterly revolting. As Keith characterizes it: "A hate crime". The wine was not that. Like most of FredFranzia's wines, it was just merely boring as hell. I managed to choke down about two glasses before I got bored and opened up the Luberon. But I keep going back to it just to see how bad it really was.
When I got home from SantaFe, I was beside myself wanting to crack this btl open. So I stuck it in the freezer for about 30 min which should make it nice & cold. When I pulled it out, about the top 1/3'rd of the btl was filled with this icy slush. Which indicates that it had a relatively high freezing point. Not quite sure what I can attribute that to in this wine, but it was nothing I'd seen before. Does ButterCream Frosting have a high freezing point?? One wonders whether Fred actually gave this wine a shot of diacetyl?
2. Luberon: Apparently JeanGuichet is a famous LeMans race car driver from the '60's. Maison Denuziere appears to be an actual wnry dating back to 1876, but they are apparently sold only by TotalWines, at least in the USofA. Another boring dog from SarantyImports.
3. Bellini: This is an actual wnry in the Ruffina district of Chianti. They make a huge range of products, some in very weird shaped btls. The wines don't look very interesting at all.
I often find the dessert wines at TotalWine some of their best wines. This one was not. Another Saranty dog.