What a great thread! I can't believe I missed this until today!
For California Wines, I do like Lewelling Cabernet from Napa Valley. If you like Caymus Special Selection, this is a cheaper alternative and imo, it's better...I also like Shafer Hillside Select, Insignia, and Maybach Cabernets. (Hmm since the Maybach family had a relationship with Mercedes, does that mean this is frowned upon on this forum? haha).
Silver Oak is overpriced and isn't worth the $ but they are fantastic at marketing.
I'm also a big fan of Brunello. In fact, my visit to Montalcino was probably my most memorable trip ever. I'm hoping I can do European Delivery and travel to some wine regions. I'm loving Barolo right now. Had an Elio Grasso tonight but been trying to buy some older Baroli from 47, 58, 71 etc to cellar.
Also a fan of German Riesling. In my opinion, it's probably one of the most reasonably priced wine regions that make fantastic wines that age really well.
To M3 or M4...that is the question.