Wine picks for the week of Jan. 20

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):

Chateau St. Jean, single vineyard 2010 Lu Petite Etoile Vineyard, Russian River Valley Fume Blanc, 14.5 percent alcohol, $22. A fume blanc that's bright and crisp. Aromas and flavors of grapefruit, lemongrass and toast. Lovely.

Laguna, 2010 Laguna Ranch Vineyard, Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 14.5 percent, $24. A tasty chardonnay with notes of apple, pear and a hint of tangerine. Ripe flavors. Crisp acidity.

Siduri, 2011 Parsons' Vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.9 percent, $32. A red with good black and red fruit. Good concentration of fruit. Seamless texture. Nice length.

Loring Wine Company, 2011 Durrell Vineyard, Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 14.9 percent, $45. A sexy chardonnay with ripe flavors. Notes of apple, pear, melon and toasty oak. Lush texture. A knockout.

Chalk Hill, Estate Red, 2009 Chalk Hill Appellation, 15.5 percent, $70. A lush red blend with notes of cherry, toast and vanilla. Briary finish. Rich.

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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