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):
<strong>Cline, 2012 Sonoma Coast Marsanne, Roussanne,</strong> 14.5 percent alcohol, $16. A dry Rhone white with tropical fruit flavors and great minerality. Great acid. Crisp finish. A smart pick.
<strong>Robert Mondavi Winery, 2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay,</strong> 13.5 percent, $19. A tasty chardonnay with a lush texture. Notes of pear, peach and cr?e brulee. Manages to counter richness with good acidity. Long finish. Lovely.
<strong>Cass, 2012 Paso Robles Mourvedre,</strong> 14.5 percent, $36. A tangy Rhone red with aromas and flavors of red cherry, cranberry, herbs and caramel. Bright acidity. Pretty.
<strong>Dashe Cellars, 2012 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel,</strong> 14.5 percent, $26. An earthy zin that's meaty with notes of black cherry and cracked black pepper. Has some great spice notes and it's no wonder, with 8 percent petite sirah in the mix.
<strong>Silver Oak, 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon,</strong> 13.9 percent, $110. A complex cab with a range of flavors — blackberry, cassis, mocha and violet. Firm tannins. Nice length. Spendy but worth the splurge if you have the disposable income.