Wine writer Peg Melnik does a recap of some of the tastiest bottlings of 2013, and these are wines to truly celebrate during the holidays.
<b>TOP PICK: Domaine Carneros, 2009 Estate Brut, 12 percent alcohol, $32. 4 1/2 stars</b>
An elegant sparkler with depth. It's floral, with notes of grapefruit, lemon and yeast. It has a creamy texture and nice length. Lovely.
<b>Other impressive bottlings:</b>
<b>Bedrock Wine Co., 2012 Ode to Lulu California Ros? 12.3 percent, $22. 4 stars</b>
An elegant ros?with depth and complexity. Has an underlying smoky, herb quality, with notes of watermelon and mineral. Impressive.
<b>Novy Family Winery, 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 13.5 percent alcohol, $19. 4 stars</b>
A toasty chardonnay with a creamy texture. Bright, vibrant and rich with layered flavors of apple, spice and a touch of cr?e brulee. Striking.
<b>Davis Bynum, 2011 Jane's Vineyard Garfield Block, Russian River Valley Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 14.5 percent, $35. 4 stars</b>
A tangy pinot with explosive cherry/berry fruit. Complex, with notes of herbs, cinnamon and pepper. Bright acidity. A standout.
<b>Pedroncelli, 2012 Signature Collection, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Pinot Noir. 3 1/2 stars</b>
A crisp pinot noir with good acidity and tangy red fruit flavors. Notes of bright cherry, a hint of cranberry and sweet oak in the mix. As a value red, it's a standout.
<b>Arrowood, 2011 Saralee's Vineyard, Russian River Valley Viognier, 14.5 percent, at $30. 4 stars</b>
This tasty viognier is layered with tasty aromas and flavors. Notes of white peach, nectarine, apricot and honeysuckle. This is a great wine to uncork with your pumpkin pie and for that reason, an irresistible holiday pick.
<b>Enotria, 2010 Mendocino County Barbera, 14.5 percent, $17. 4 stars</b>
It doesn't get any better for barbera than this. Feisty red fruit, smoky, meaty, with a crisp finish. This striking red is particularly impressive for the price, and it's a great holiday pick.
<b>Las Rocas, 2012 de San Alejandro Ros? Calatayud, Spain, 13.5 percent, $12. 3 1/2 stars</b>
Las Rocas is where bright red fruit meets sassy spice. Aromas and flavors of raspberry, strawberry and snappy spice. This is a clean, fruit-forward ros? crafted from garnacha grapes grown in high-altitude vineyards. It's full-bodied and elegant with a fruity finish. What's more, the $12 price tag makes it a steal.