Yellow Tail Merlot

Mass-market, low-priced Australian wines are of a particular style: super fruity, maybe a touch sweet, and very straightforward. Some may dismiss them as fruit juice (as one of us does), but even they can acknowledge that there are good and bad examples of this style. This 2009 Merlot, at $5, is pretty good. The nose provides a prominent alcohol burn, but there’s enough plum, cherry, and spice to keep it grounded. On the palate, it’s fairly acidic, with cherry as the dominant fruit.