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MON
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Wines to try for week of Nov. 25

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):

J. Lohr, 2010 Paso Robles South Ridge Syrah, 13.5 percent alcohol, $11. A syrah with a great concentration of black and red fruit. It's ripe, but it's not over the top. Nice structure.

Blue Nose, 2010 Sonoma County Syrah, 14.5 percent, $25. A tasty syrah with layered flavors. Notes of blackberry, black cherry, herbs and spice. Great backbone. Nice acidity.

Longboard Vineyards, 2008 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Syrah, 14.3 percent, $28. A complex syrah with notes of blackberry, blueberry, herbs and spice. Bright acidity. Spicy finish.

Balletto, 2011 Russian River Valley, Sonoma County Pinot Noir, 13.7 percent, $29. A bright pinot with good structure. Notes of rhubarb, violet and spice. Crisp acidity. Balanced.

Chalone Vineyard, 2010 Monterey County Pinot Noir, 13.5 percent, $37. A lively pinot noir with bright flavors of bing cherry, raspberry, leather and spice. Good acid. Nice length.

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


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