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Wine list

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PEG MELNIK,

THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

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>Dry Creek Vineyard, 2013 Clarksburg Dry Chenin Blanc,</strong> 13 percent alcohol, $12. A chenin blanc that's a perfect summer pick - light and lively with plenty of citrus notes. Flavors of apple, white peach and melon. Crisp and refreshing. An absolute steal for the price.

<strong>Graziano, 2013 Mendocino County Sauvignon Blanc,</strong> 13.5 percent, $15. A vibrant sauvignon blanc with aromas and flavors of grapefruit, herbs and spice. Zesty finish. Nice length.

<strong>River Road Family Vineyards & Winery, 2013 Reserve Russian River Valley Unoaked Pinot Gris,</strong> 13.2 percent, $16. A lovely pinot gris, delicate and yet complex. Notes of pear, apricot and mineral. Subtle, yet it makes a strong impression. A smart pick.

<strong>Landmark Vineyards, 2012 Overlook Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.5 percent, $25. This is a complex pinot noir with bright acid. It has a great range of fruit - black cherry, plum and strawberry - with a seamless texture. The breakdown is: 53 percent San Luis Obispo, 40 percent Sonoma and 7 percent Monterey counties. If this vintage isn't on the wine list quite yet, simply pick the 2011.

<strong>J.Lohr, 2012 Arroyo Seco Monterey, Fog's Reach, Pinot Noir,</strong> 14.9 percent, $35. Burgundian-styled with great structure and a touch of earth. Notes of strawberry, herbs and spice. Toasty finish. Tasty.

<em>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 tastingroom.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.</em>