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Wine List: This week's picks

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):

<strong>Skywalker Vineyards, 2012 Marin County Pinot Noir Ros?</strong> 14.4 percent alcohol, $18. A hot-shot ros?with bright acidity, tangy fruit and refreshing minerality. Crisp finish.

<strong>Davis Bynum, 2011 River West Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Chardonnay, </strong>14.5 percent, $25. A dreamy, lush chardonnay. Gorgeous. Notes of apple, pear and toast. A chardonnay-lover's chardonnay. Striking.

<strong>Mill Creek, 2010 Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Merlot,</strong> 14.5 percent, $28. A seamless merlot with snappy, cracked black pepper, herbs and concentrated cherry and blackberry flavors. Spicy finish. Juicy.

<strong>DVX, 2007 Mumm Napa, Napa Valley Sparkling Ros?</strong> 12.5 percent, $70. Elegant, with great minerality. Bright fruit, with a creamy texture. Nice mousse.

<strong>Pahlmeyer, 2011 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay,</strong> 14.9 percent, $70. A silky chardonnay that's exceedingly generous — rich and opulent. It's creamy, with a lush texture. Notes of gardenia and honeysuckle. Sexy.

<em>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 www.pressdemocrat.com.</em>

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