Wine list: This week's picks

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

<strong>Carmenet, 2012 California Chardonnay,</strong> 12.5 percent alcohol, $12. A value chardonnay that has notes of pear, melon and toast. It's not a highbrow chardonnay by any means, but it's well integrated with appealing flavors.

<strong>Vina Mayor, 2012 Rueda Verdejo,</strong> 13 percent, $16. An intense verdejo that has crisp acidity and lively flavors of lime, herbs and mineral. It's a refreshing quaff, well worth the price.

<strong>Siduri, 2012 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir,</strong> $14.5 percent, $32. A very tasty bright pinot buoyed by bright acidity. Layered with notes of Bing cherry, a hint of cranberry and white pepper. Lovely.

<strong>CrossBarn, 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.1 percent, $35. A complex pinot with aromas and flavors of red currant, cola and clove. Ripe tannins. Balanced. Lingering finish.

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