Hi Harry, shavua tov!
I've enjoyed dozens of great wines during my first week in California but I'll stick with my shabat wines for now here.
California Classic Cellars, Santa Ynez Valley, Syrah 2004: Dark purple with on the nose ripe blue and black fruit as well as some hints of lavender and tar. Medium to full-bodied with on the palate blue and blackberries, licorice and tar with a touch of plums and herbal notes with decent acid and tannins rising towards the moderately long finish. For a 9 y.o. Syrah at $12 (NOT Mevushal!), this wasn't bad at all!
I opened as well the bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 from the same winery and it had a beautiful dark royal purple color but the nose showed clear signs of oxidation and too jammy black fruit. The wine was over the hill though not dead but with clearly overripe, raisiny fruit and heat. Not so much to complain about given the $6 price tag...
Herzog, Special Reserve, Alexander Valley, Merlot 2002: This bottle was just as good as the one that I had in Israel some 3 weeks ago and was a great QPR at $20 (on sale).