It is a “young merlot” The grapes come from coastal vineyards and the final blend contains 5% Syrah. A dark, forward nose of blackberry, cherry, smoke, and a hint of anise continues as fairly light bodied flavors with a light tannin and moderate acidity. The long finish broadens at the rear with persistent smoke. Well balanced, structured, and integrated. BEST BUY
Harold Baer, Wine Tasting Notes, July 2011
Interesting wine. Lacks complexity and depth of older merlots, BUT THAT IS THE POINT. It is young and vibrant with flavors of unripe mango and cherry…
Snooth.com - 2007
Flavors of half-ripe strawberry plus cherry and warm, sweet oak are laced with a moderate amount of fine tannin…
Colorado Wine News, January-March 2007
These wines are often snapped up by collectors and never drunk at all, but they are delicious.
The Detroit News, Sandra Silfven, February 10, 2007
This Merlot is remarkably complex for the price, serving up a lush texture and deep, dark fruit flavors.
Leslie Sbrocco, San Francisco Chronicle, March 9, 2006
What about a collectable Merlot for gift giving? Look for Norma Jeane. The 2005 Nova Wines Norma Jeane California Merlot ($10) is adorned with a picture of young Marilyn Monroe and every vintage sports a different image. (A more expensive version from the same producer is dubbed Marilyn Merlot.) This Merlot is remarkably complex for the price, serving up a lush texture and deep, dark fruit flavors. After a few sips, you might not want to give it away.
Leslie Sbrocco, The San Francisco Chronicle
The wine has a unusually bright, almost candy-like nose in the glass with corresponding highlights on the palate, a seemingly appropriate match considering the wine’s youthful icon. The flavor of red currants and slightly unripe red fruits comes through, accompanied by a leafy taste at the back of the palate and dressed with the slightest effervescence.
Michael Muckian, Capital Times, The Spirited Glass, September 18, 2006
Aromas of toasted oak and a more complex mouth feel…the fruit flavors are soft…
Snooth.com - 2005
…this less expensive, younger Marilyn wine …is simple and straightforward, with lots of plum and other sweet fruit…
Frank Sutherland and Kate Sutherland, Lansing State Journal, October 9, 2006