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Wine list

  • PC: Charlie Gesell/The Press Democrat Red wine comes in many shades including these Sin Zin zinfandel, Foppiano Merlot and La Crema syrah.

    9/12/2004: 18: SHADES OF RED

Press Democrat wine writer Peg Melnik scopes out restaurant wine lists around the North Bay, looking for good value and the occasional splurge. This week's picks (prices are retail; restaurant markup varies):

Dry Creek Vineyard, 2008 Meritage, Sonoma County Red Wine, 14.5 percent alcohol, $28. A complex meritage with depth. It has notes of cherry, herbs and sassy spice. Bright fruit. Nice length. A steal for the price. The blend is 33 percent cabernet sauvignon, 30 percent merlot, 17 percent cab franc, 14 percent malbec and 6 percent petit verdot.

Enkidu, 2010 Diener Ranch, Red Hills, Lake County Zinfandel, 15.6 percent, $25. A bright zin with tangy fruit and a great undercurrent of spice. Notes of cherry, blackberry and herbs. A big, full-bodied zin with a good send-off of cracked black pepper.

Rodney Strong, 2009 Symmetry, Alexander Valley Meritage Red Wine, 15 percent, $60. This is a hit. A seamless meritage with layered flavors. Notes of blueberry, blackberry, cassis, dark chocolate, smoke and spice. Impressive. The blend is 79 percent cabernet sauvignon, 14 percent malbec, 6 percent merlot and 1 percent cab franc.

Joseph Phelps, 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5 percent, $65. A cab with a deep concentration of fruit. Notes of cassis, plum, herbs and spice. Firm tannins. Lovely.

Stags' Leap, 2009 The Leap Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.1 percent, $187. This is truly for big spenders. Is it worth it? If you have plenty of disposable cash, absolutely. It's a cab with depth, great structure and firm tannins. Notes of cherry, toast and spice. Long finish. The blend is 75 percent cabernet sauvignon, 13 percent malbec, 7 percent petit verdot, 4 percent cab franc and 1 percent 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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