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Wine List: This week's picks

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):

Reata, 2012 Carneros Chardonnay, 14.3 percent alcohol, $20. A layered chardonnay with notes of apple, honeysuckle and peach. Slightly sweet. Nice length.

Frei Brothers, 2011 Alexander Valley Reserve, Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.2 percent, $23. A cab with a lot going on for the price. Layered, with notes of blackberry, cassis, eucalyptus and toasty oak. Lingering finish.

Palmeri, 2011 Van Ness Vineyard, Alexander Valley Syrah, 14.7 percent, $42. A powerful syrah with rich fruit flavors. Smoky, with notes of blackberry, herbs and cracked black pepper. Seamless.

B.R. Cohn, 2009 Olive Hill Vineyards Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.3 percent, $44. A supple cab with complexity. Aromas and flavors of black currant, cherry, plum and anise. Ripe tannins. Long finish.

Duckhorn Vineyards, 2010 Atlas Peak, Napa Valley Merlot, 14.5 percent, $70. A tasty merlot with a great concentration of fruit and a seamless texture. Briary, with aromas and flavor of berry, herbs and spice. Nice length. A serious merlot.

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.

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