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):
Handley, 2011 Helluva Vineyard, Anderson Valley Pinot Gris, 13.5 percent alcohol, $20. This citrusy pinot gris has a lot going on. Notes of guava, lime and mandarin orange. Floral, with a hint of herbs. Great minerality. Lovely.
Tyler Florence, 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.7 percent, $25. A complex cab with depth. Aromas and flavors of black fruit, toasty oak and pepper. Supple tannins. Lingering finish.
Groth, 2010 Napa Valley Chardonnay, 14.5 percent, $30. A toasty chardonnay, that's rich but it manages to be balanced. Notes of pear, vanilla and butter. Creamy texture. Long finish.
Amici, 2009 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.7 percent, $40. A rich cab with layered flavors. Notes of black fruit, toffee, vanilla, mocha and pepper. Firm tannins. Nice length.
Arista, 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, 14.4 percent, $45. Floral aromas and on the palate, notes of raspberry, plum, cranberry, anise and cola. Bright, crisp flavors. Striking.