As mentioned, went tasting at Ridge and also at Big Basin.
'07 Monte Bello - Much more approachable at 5 years old than I'd have thought. Has "Wow-factor." Great wine, still quite primary, but the other stuff is there somewhere. Not a ton of evidence of the American oak barrels.
'10 Chardonnay - Just a really classy and well put-together Chardonnay. I didn't pick up that much diacytel acetate, so thats a plus. I like to keep my buttered popcorn and my wine seperate.
'09 Merlot - very nice, has "stuffing," or in layman's terms, good structure and plenty of tannin and acidity, which are prerequisites for aging. Tasty fruit now, however.
'09 Estate Cabernet - Very nice, tastes like a much more expensive wine.
'08 Petit Syrah - TANNIN!
Buchignani Carignane - Didn't like it - they've somehow transformed perfectly good Carignane into pure juicy fruit. The acid and some tannin are still there, but the fruit overwhelms any interesting secondary characteristics it might have.
Buchignani Zinfandel - Very nice. Very earthy, Mourvedre-like nose.
East Bench Zinfandel - Lively, pure, fresh fruit with enough tannin and acid to give it a nice structure.
Mazzoni Zinfandel - Tastes kind of iike port. Stewed figs and raisins.
Big Basin makes some really nice pinots and Syrahs. Pinots are very very good. Lester Vineyard and Alfaro Vineyard are both very nice. The Syrahs are young, and in my opinion Syrah needs time more than almost any other varietals, but I didn't get much in the way of pepper or any of the other usual stuff, though the bacon fat is there in spades. Very tasty fruit flavor, not terribly light but not terribly heavy either.