NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA. Wine doesn’t have to be serious all the time and this wine is a bit of fun. It began in 1985 as a playful idea, bringing together the iconic image of Marilyn Monroe and some good Napa Valley Merlot fruit. It is now something of a collectors’ wine.
Although the wine’s proprietors, Nova Wines have taken a light-hearted approach to the wine business, they wanted to produce a serious wine which would appeal to wine drinkers with a sense of humour, and of course to Marilyn Monroe enthusiasts. The winemaker is John McKay, whose 25 year career has taken in many respected wineries in the Valley. The fruit is serious stuff: for this vintage 88% comes from the Yountmill Vineyard and 12% from the Beckstoffer Vineyard, both under long term contracts for use in Marilyn Merlot. It is a blend of 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was aged for twelve months in barrel, 35% new. It is made at the Napa Wine Company on Highway 29 at Oakville Cross Road, which accommodates small volume, high quality production for around twenty wine brands.
Each vintage of Marilyn Merlot bears a different label design with a different photograph of Marilyn.