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Wines to try for the week of Dec. 23

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):

Edna Valley Vineyard, 2011 Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc, 13.9 percent alcohol, $15. A lively sauvignon blanc with bright acid and layered flavors of grapefruit, peach, guava, mineral and spice. Crisp finish.

Laguna, 2010 Laguna Ranch Vineyard, Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 14.5 percent, $22. A tropical chardonnay that's lightly oaked. Complex, with notes of honeysuckle, pineapple and spice. Good acidity married with big flavors. A knockout.

Trione, 2010 River Road Ranch, Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, 14 percent, $23. An aromatic sauvignon blanc with layered flavors. Notes of peach, mineral and spice. Seamless texture. Lingering finish.

Tyler Florence Pinot 10, 2010 Gallery Vineyard, Napa Valley, 14.7 percent, $40. A very tasty pinot with high-toned red fruit, bright acid and great minerality. Balanced. Nice length.

Shafer, 2010 Napa Valley Merlot, 15.3 percent, $50. A seamless merlot that has great bones. Tasty black and red fruit with notes of black cherry, cherry and plum. Earthy.

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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