Press Democrat wine writer Peg Melnik scopes out wine lists around the North Bay, looking for good value and the occasional splurge. This week's picks (prices are retail; restaurant markup varies):
Au Bon Climat, 2009 Santa Maria Valley, Harmony Nuits-Blanche au Bouge, Chardonnay, 13.5 percent alcohol, $35. A bright chardonnay with crisp acidity and good minerality. Notes of bright apple, pear and a hint of lemon. Refreshing.
Landmark Overlook, 2011 Sonoma County Chardonnay, 14 percent, $25. A lovely chardonnay with rich, yet bright flavors. Tasty notes of melon, pear, white peach and Meyer lemon. Lingering finish.
Grey Stack Cellars, 2012 Rosemary Block, Bennett Valley, Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc, 14.3 percent, $33. A New Zealand-styled sauvignon blanc. Grassy, with notes of grapefruit, lime and a hint of jalapeño. Crisp finish.
Argyle, 2011 Willamette Valley Reserve Pinot Noir, 13 percent, $40. A pinot with depth and plenty of personality. Notes of blackberry, dried cherry and herbs. Spicy finish.
Domaine Serene, 2007 Etoile Vineyard, Dundee Hills Chardonnay, 13.6 percent, $46. A fleshy chardonnay with bold fruit flavors and layered flavors. Notes of melon, pear, nectarine and apricot. Rich, yet manages to be balanced. Nice length.
Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant's list? E-mail peg.melnik@ pressdemocrat.com or check out her Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com.