Ironstone, Merlot, 2008

From California, this 2008 Merlot from Ironstone is decent. It's still young and it shows. Some sweetness hits the palate at first and then a creamy hint of vanilla becomes more pronounced at the end. It reminded me of the Yellow Tail, but that one despite being very exotic is really not a good wine. The Ironstone, instead, is good and could improve some more over time. A reasonable party wine for $10.

Camelot, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000

The 2000 Camelot Cabernet from California was a pretty smooth wine throughout. Aged just right it seemed, with that darker brownish color on the edges but still very much red at the heart. I enjoyed it with family and friends.


Mantra, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

This Alexander Valley Cab is excellent! It's very characteristic of the region, with bouquet and taste of California's big reds. It's not for the faint of heart though, as it is full of tannins and high in alcohol --  a whooping 14.7%! In fact, the strong bite and the big alcohol are two of the things it could improve a little. This wine will be marvelous in a couple of years. But nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed it now. For about $20, I will buy more and let it mellow in my cellar.