A Few Standout Mexican Wines:
Monte Xanic Cabernet-Merlot 1997 ($17)
Founded in the early '80s, Monte Xanic led the march to quality in the valley with its commitment to low yields and state-of-the art winemaking. Their blend of 75 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 25 percent Merlot tastes much like a big, bold, fruit-filled Napa red.
L.A. Cetto Nebbiolo 1996 ($20)
The largest producer in Baja, Cetto is known for its modestly priced wines (which include an $8 Petite Sirah), but the real winner is the suave, smoky, spicy, yet surprisingly light-hearted Nebbiolo.