Merlot is the signature grape of Washington state
Merlot is the most widely planted red grape in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France. It is also the signature grape in Washington state where it is usually made into varietal wine as opposed to Bordeaux where it is almost always blended with other red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Merlot has an aromatic bouquet and tastes of berries and plums.
You can get Washington State Merlot in quite a range of prices. You might try the Columbia Crest Two Vines Columbia Crest Merlot at about $9. This is loaded with blackberry, cherry, and raspberry aromas and flavors. For about $12 try the Desert Wind Vineyard Wahluke Slope Merlot at about $15 but watch yourself, it's a heady 15,5% alcohol. Don't let all that alcohol get in the way of its spicy, fig and lime flavor. The Andrew Will Sorella is a prize-winning Washington State wine in the high $60 range. However, it is a Bordeaux blend with much more Cabernet Sauvignon than Merlot. That shouldn't stop you from enjoying this excellent wine. Among its many tastes are black cherry, black currant, baked plums, and blueberries sprinkled with baking spices. It is made from some of the oldest vines in Washington State.