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):
Toulouse, 2012 Anderson Valley Pinot Gris, 13.4 percent alcohol, $20. This tasty pinot gris has a great melding of flavors – apricot, white peach and mineral. It’s buoyed with bright acidity. Nice length. Well crafted. The Toulouse was recently seen on the wine list at the Sea Ranch Lodge.
Domaine Carneros Brut, 2010 Napa Valley, 12 percent, $33. This is a lovely sparkler with aromas and flavors of pear, honey and brioche. Great minerality. Nice mousse. Striking. This brut was recently seen on the wine list at Tra Vigne in St. Helena.
Rombauer, 2013 Carneros, Napa Valley Chardonnay, 14.5 percent, $36. A gorgeous chardonnay with great complexity. Layered flavors of guava, melon, mango, vanilla and butter. Creamy texture. Bright acidity keeps this chardonnay from being over the top. A knockout. The Rombauer was recently seen on the wine list at Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford.
Peay, 2011 Savoy Anderson Valley, Mendocino Pinot Noir, 13.7 percent, $63. This pinot will turn heads. It has a great core of cherry and black raspberry fruit, coupled with underbrush and cracked black pepper. Lingering finish. Stunning. The Peay was recently seen on the wine list at Spinster Sisters in Santa Rosa.
Inman Family, 2011 Russian River Valley OGV Estate Pinot Noir, 14.2 percent, $68. This pinot has delicate aromas of rose petal and tasty red fruit on the palate – a tangy blend of cranberry, rhubarb and raspberry. It has pitch perfect balance, and a lingering finish. Outstanding. The Inman was recently seen on the wine list at the Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant in Forestville.
Want to share a current wine on your favorite restaurant’s list? Email email@example.com or check out her Tasting Room blog at pressdemocrat.com.