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):
<strong>Flux, 2012 California Ros?</strong> 13.4 percent alcohol, $16. A gorgeous dry ros?with tasty notes of watermelon, mineral and spice. It has bright acid, and the silky texture is a pleasant surprise. Crisp finish. Striking. (67 percent grenache, 28 percent carignan and 5 percent syrah.)
<strong>Cliff Lede, 2012 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc,</strong> 14.7 percent, $23. A tangy, New Zealand-styled sauvignon blanc with zesty notes of grapefruit, lime and a hint of jalape?. Bright acid. Great minerality.
<strong>Gary Farrell, 2011 Bradford Mountain, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Zinfandel, </strong> 14.5 percent, $45. A briary zinfandel, with notes of black cherry, anise and cracked black pepper. A hint of rhubarb. Nice length.
<strong>JC Cellars, 2011 Hayne Vineyard, Napa Valley Zinfandel, </strong> 15.2 percent, $49. A mischievous zinfandel with a snarl of spice and a huge dose of fruit — blackberry, black raspberry and plum. A lingering finish.
<strong>Lasseter Family Winery, 2010 Amoureux Red Blend, </strong>14.8 percent, $54. This is a knockout, pure and simple. It's a complex malbec-driven blend with depth. It has concentrated fruit, herbs and spice. It's a talker. (73 malbec, 18 percent cabernet sauvignon, 7 percent merlot and 2 percent cabernet franc.)