back to the bargain shelf once again brought me in contact with this washington state blend for about $6 a bottle. washington always has really nice merlots so i gave this a try. the blend is 60% merlot, 38% cab franc and 2% cab sauvignon. the nose was full of fruit, with plum, black cherry and blackberry showing through. i also got a little leather aroma as well. the palate was ripe with black cherry and blackberry flavors. i got a little anise and some real nice, subtle smoky notes as well. very well balanced wine with medium tannins and a nice long finish. columbia crest is a great go to wine at this price point. excellent value that will go with many grilled meats and barbecues.