Wine List: This week's wine picks

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):

Carmel Road, 2011 Panorama Vineyard, Monterey Pinot Noir, 15 percent alcohol, $35. A seamless pinot noir with layered flavors of raspberry, cherry, herbs and cracked black pepper. Nice minerality. Lingering finish.

Beringer Vineyards, 2012 Luminus Oak Knoll Napa Valley Chardonnay, 14.3 percent, $39. An elegant chardonnay with great acidity. Aromas and flavors of melon, lemon and spice. Nice length.

CrossBarn, 2011 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5 percent, $40. A concentrated cab with great structure and firm tannins. Notes of boysenberry, black cherry and anise. Juicy.

Austin Hope, 2011 Hope Family Vineyard, Paso Robles Grenache,

15 percent, $42. A Grenache with bright racy fruit — cranberry, raspberry and plum. Balanced. A black-pepper finish.

Long Meadow Ranch, 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5 percent, $47. A standout with gorgeous fruit. Notes of black raspberry, anise and pepper. Seamless texture. Plush.

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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