1. Another strong release from Ridge. The Paso was their best Paso Zin that I can recall in a long time. Generally, BeniDusi's Zin is the first Zin that Ridge harvests each year. But in '10, it was actually their last. The wine shows a classic Paso jammy blaclberry character; but it has a brightness and acidity on the palate that almost gives it a DryCreekVlly character.
The EastBench is generally my least favorite of the Ridge regular Zins. It's often just a pretty raspberry Zin w/o much depth or character; just that. The '10 version is a strange duck for an EastBench. Despite 15%+ alcohol, it has a strident acidity to it that suggests much lower. I didn't dislike the wine, it was just not the usual quotidian EastBench. I think it might age into something pretty interesting. Who knows?
The Geyserville is another successful Geyserville. Impeccable/seamless/polished/balanced. This '10 has amazing aromatics to it and seems more brighter/Zin-spicy like and less oak than recent ones. The balance should take it
The '07 Jimsomare Zin was an exceptional Jimsomare. One of the best Ridge Zins of late that I can recall. This '08 didn't quite seem to measure up to that. It seemed a bit lighter, less interesting, and the alcohol a bit more obvious. A pretty Zin, but just that. Sold in 2-paks w/ the Jimsomare Chard. The '09 Jimsomare was back on track, maybe even the best one of late. Clearly a bit riper, it didn't show any alcoholic heat and seemed very structured and needing age and an incredible spiciness to it. Terrific Zin.
2. ForlornHope: This is an effort by MattRorick who likes to focus lesser known grape varieties..."forlorn hope". He's doing some very interesting things w/ some weird stuff. This PS iis not really a "forlorn hope", but it's one of the best ones around in Calif. The grapes come from the TenbrinkVnyd in SolanoCnty, near SuisanCity, where Matt makes his wines. There's a fair amount of grapes grown in SolanoCnty, but I sense many of them makes their way west into the NapaVlly. You don't see a lot of wines around sporting the SolanoCnty or SuisunVlly label. The few that I've had over the yrs have not impressed me. They seemed rather on the soft/soupy side. The '06 version blew me away... I described it as resembling the Ridge YorkCreek '71 in its youth....high praise, indeed. This just-released '07 version didn't seem quite of that stature, but is, nonetheless, a mightly impressive PS. It certainly raises the bar for SolanoCnty wines.