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):
True Myth, 2012 Edna Valley Chardonnay, 13.5 percent alcohol, $18. A tropical chardonnay with aromas and flavors of pineapple, pear and vanilla bean. Lightly toasted. Creamy texture. A steal for the price.
Lasseter Family Winery, 2012 Enjoue Rose, 13.4 percent, $24. This is an exotic rose, complex and refreshing. It has notes of strawberry, grapefruit and a hint of mango. It's buoyed by bright acidity and has a dry, crisp finish. Gorgeous. (78 percent syrah, 12 percent grenache, 10 percent mourvedre.)
Wilson, 2011 McClain, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Primitivo, 15.5 percent, $40. This is a lovely primitivo with bright, tangy fruit and snappy spice. It's briary, with red and black fruit and cracked black pepper. Tasty.
K, 2010 Phil Lane, Walla Walla Valley Syrah, 13 percent, $70. A muscular syrah with concentrated fruit. Meaty, with notes of blackberry, blueberry and cracked black pepper. Striking.
Gundlach Bundschu, 2010 Sonoma Valley, Vintage Reserve Red Wine, 14.9 percent, $90. This is a drop-dead knockout. It has depth and complexity and delicious fruit. It's dense, a meal in itself, with notes of blackberry and dark chocolate. Full-bodied and ripe, but not over the top. Well done.
Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant's list? Email peg.melnik@ pressdemocrat.com or
check out her Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com.