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):
Beaulieu Vineyard, 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5 percent alcohol, $20. An approachable cab with a seamless texture. Notes of generous fruit, briary herbs and spice. Ripe tannins. Balanced.
Bedrock Wine Co., 2011 Old Vine Sonoma County Zinfandel, 14.8 percent, $24. A rock star zin. Notes of deep, rich blackberry and black raspberry, herbs and spice. Zesty finish.
Ridge, 2011 Pagani Vineyard Zinfandel, 14.7 percent, $35. An elegant zin with layered flavors. Aromas and flavors of black raspberry, herbs, spice and a hint of caramel. Seamless texture.
Sebastiani, 2010 Old Vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County, 13.7 percent alcohol, $50. An elegant cab with notes of red and black fruit, licorice and spice. Nice acidity. Firm tannins.
Trione, 2008 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.9 percent, $64. A big, full-bodied cab with integrated tannins. Notes of herbs, currants and clove. Lingering finish.
Check out her Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com.