Both wines just about the same density and glass-staining ability. The Mendo maybe a tad more transparent and definitely more pure-ruby compared to the Napa’s brilliant blue-purple.
W: Dull and closed-in on the nose, a little mineral edge churnin in the background behind newsprint and a flabby lanolin. No fruit. No charm. Maybe some cola-spice slightly tinged in black cherry if I really stretch my imaginiation.
T: Ridiculously robust HEADY fresh fruit-forwardness. Almost too much for my liking. SOOO yummily juicily splendoterrific chunking gobs of lush ripe berry and mango and oak into your face. Just unapologetically slutty on the scale of Paso tourist wines. There’s a strong background of shrill mineral though.
The Mendo is falling apart in the glass, now all buggy and chemical, developing a refrigerator produce-drawer bouquet. The rear end of the nose has turned to alcohol, even though I predict it is several notches below the Napa, which just gets bigger and bolder with each swirl, knocking heavily on Zin territory.
But let’s taste them.
W: Hard to taste because it stinks. In the mouth, one-dimensional and thin, an easy pie-cherry shifts seamlessly into acid and tannin and a crisp fruity finish. I’m done with this wine.
T: Thick and chewy, as expected, have to search for fruit in this one too, but for COMPLETELY different reasons. Fruit is a giant rich cherry monster lurking behind an absolute FORTRESS of chewy pulp, blockbuster concentration, thick early tannins, shrill acidity, and the kind of sexy earth and rock that will leave your guard all tumbled. Green-briar middle shocks and heads off into abrasive tannins going for ever and ever.
I didn’t expect these to go like that.
2015 WOODENHEAD Charbono Venturi Vyd Mendocino Co 11.5
2018 T-VINE Charbono Frediani Vyd Calistoga Napa Valley 14.7