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):
Tyler Florence, 2010 Blend #4, Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 14.2 percent alcohol, $16. This sauvignon blanc has great intensity with a range of flavors — grapefruit, lemon and lime. There's even a hint of green apple in the mix. A smart buy for the price.
Estancia, 2010 Central Coast Merlot, 13.5 percent, $16. A tasty merlot with layered flavors of blueberry, cherry cola, mocha and toast. Nice length.
La Crema, 2012 Monterey Pinot Gris, 13.5 percent, $20. A layered pinot gris with notes of lemon, ripe pear and white peach. What makes it a standout is its great minerality. Lovely.
Seghesio Family Vineyards, 2012 Sonoma County Zinfandel, 14.8 percent, $24. A snappy zinfandel with aromas and flavors of dried cherry, sage and cracked black pepper. Great concentration of fruit meets sassy spice. Brilliant.
DVX, 2006 Napa Valley Sparkling Wine by Mumm Napa, 12.5 percent, $65. A gorgeous, complex sparkler with complexity. Notes of baked apple, fig and pear. Great structure. Nice mousse. Knockout.
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.