1999 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Merlot, Columbia Valley ($11). Too many merlots are either trying to be cabernet sauvignons or are greenish and medicinal. This Washington state version is precisely what a merlot should be - and at a most attractive price. It offers immensely appealing, upfront black-cherry fruit, lush texture and admirable intensity. It's neither immense nor complex, just thoroughly appealing. Serve with red meat, roast poultry or pasta dishes.