Wine list

  • Harvest Fair wine judging, Wednesday Sept. 22, 2010. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2010

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):

Renwood, 2010 Premier Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador County, 15.5 percent alcohol, $20. A full-throttle zin with layered flavors. Notes of black fruit, roasted coffee and cracked black pepper. Full-bodied. Ripe.

Charles Krug, 2009 Napa Valley Merlot, 14.8 percent, $24. A seamless merlot with complexity. Layered flavors of blackberry, cherry, mocha and mineral. Ripe tannins. Lingering finish.

Girard, 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 13.9 percent, $24. A lovely chardonnay with notes of melon, peach, citrus and toast. Nice acidity. Creamy texture.

Waterstone, 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5 percent, $24. A tasty cab with a lot going on. Aromas and flavors of currant, blackberry, mocha and toasty oak. Firm tannins. Ripe.

Frank Family Vineyards, 2010 Napa Valley Zinfandel, 15 percent, $39. A rustic zin with bold flavors. Has a great concentration of fruit. Notes of blackberry, plum, anise and cracked black pepper. Zesty finish. Ripe, but not over the top.

Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant's list? Email peg.melnik@ pressdemocrat.com or check out her Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com.

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