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>Edna Valley, 2012 Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc,</strong> 13.9 percent alcohol, $15. A bright and lively sauvignon blanc with complex flavors of peach, guava and grapefruit. Nice acidity. Long finish.
<strong>Carlisle, 2011 Saitone Ranch, Russian River Valley Zinfandel,</strong> 15 percent, $16. A complex zinfandel with depth. Briary, with rich black and red fruit, herbs and spice. Lingering finish.
<strong>Ridge, 2011 Pagani Ranch Zinfandel,</strong> 14.7 percent, $35. A rustic zin with ripe fruit and a snappy undercurrent of spice. Notes of blackberry, currant, plum and cracked black pepper. Seamless. Nice Length.
<strong>Beringer, 2010 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon,</strong> 14.3 percent, $40. A gorgeous cabernet sauvignon with notes of blackberry, black raspberry, dark chocolate and herbs. Seamless texture. Lingering finish.
<strong>Etude, 2011 Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.2 percent, $42. An elegant pinot with bright black cherry fruit and notes of cedar and herbs. Nice acidity. Balanced. Lovely.