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):
<b>True Myth, 2012 Edna Valley Chardonnay,</b> 13.5 percent alcohol, $18. A tropical chardonnay with aromas and flavors of pineapple, pear and vanilla bean. Lightly toasted. Creamy texture. A steal for the price.
<b>Lasseter Family Winery, 2012 Enjoue Rose,</b> 13.4 percent, $24. This is an exotic rose, complex and refreshing. It has notes of strawberry, grapefruit and a hint of mango. It's buoyed by bright acidity and has a dry, crisp finish. Gorgeous. (78percent syrah, 12 percent grenache, 10percent mourvedre.)
<b>Wilson, 2011 McClain, Alexander Valley, Sonoma County Primitivo, </b>15.5percent, $40. This is a lovely primitivo with bright, tangy fruit and snappy spice. It's briary, with red and black fruit and cracked black pepper. Tasty.
<b>K, 2010 Phil Lane, Walla Walla Valley Syrah,</b> 13 percent, $70. A muscular syrah with concentrated fruit. Meaty, with notes of blackberry, blueberry and cracked black pepper. Striking.
<b>Gundlach Bundschu, 2010 Sonoma Valley, Vintage Reserve Red Wine, </b>14.9 percent, $90. This is a drop-dead knockout. It has depth and complexity and delicious fruit. It's dense, a meal in itself, with notes of blackberry and dark chocolate. Full-bodied and ripe, but not over the top. Well done.
check out her Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com.