Wine list

Press Democrat wine writer Peg Melnik scopes out restaurant wine lists around the North Bay, looking for good value and the occasional splurge. This week's picks (prices are retail; restaurant markup varies):

Skouras, 2010 Peloponese, Moschofilero, 12 percent alcohol, $18. A white wine that's nimble, light on its feet. Crisp and clean, with great acidity. Subtle notes of melon and pear. A honeyed finish. Lovely.

Jamet, 2009 Vin de Pays, Rhone Valley, France, Syrah, 12.5, $26. A smoky syrah with savory flavors. Earthy, with violet aromas. Soft texture. Has depth.

Joh. Jos. Christoffel, (CQ) 2009 "Urziger Wurzgarten," Mosel, Germany Kabinett Riesling, 8 percent, $32. A tasty riesling with personality. Notes of melon, pear and honey. Lingering finish.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico COS, 2008, Sicily, 13 percent, $35. Full-bodied with good structure. A bit earthy, with aromas and flavors of deep cherry, herbs and mineral. Bright and crisp. Has depth.

Maximin Grunhauser, 2004 "Herrenberg," Mosel, Germany, Kabinette Riesling, 8 percent, $38. Rich and bold, laden with stone fruit and spice. Great minerality. Lingering finish. Has a big presence.

Castelnau de Suduiraut, Bordeaux, Sauternes, 12.5 percent, $40. A lovely dessert wine with aromas and flavors of dried apricot, golden raisin and spice. Good acidity. Crisp finish.

Remirez de Ganuza, 2005 "Fincas de Ganuza," Rioja Reserva, Spain, 14 percent, $58. A rioja with tangy fruit and concentrated flavors. Notes of black cherry, cherry, herbs and spice. Rustic.

Calera, 1997 "Mills," Mount Harlan Pinot Noir, 14.6, $70. A delicate pinot with a hint of smoke. Rich, yet slightly tart. Notes of tart cherry, spice, vanilla and toast. Bright acid.

P & S Chryseia, 2004 Douro, Portugal, 14 percent, $75. A gorgeous red with concentrated flavors. Notes of violet, black raspberry, herbs and spice. Striking.

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