Marilyn Napa Valley Meritage 2010
Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 2010 vintage Marilyn Meritage is the inaugural release of a wine whose goal is to showcase Napa Valley's cool climate ability to make wines of classic stature within the Bordeaux tradition. The composition is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec and 3% Petit Verdot. The wine is youthful in appearance, has clean aromas and flavors for all the blended varieties, and tastes great. The wine has a pedigree that will satisfy today, but last for many to come.
The elegant yet soulful photo used for label is owned by the Milton Greene Archives. It was selected by thousands of fans on the Marilyn Monroe Facebook page.
Wine Enthusiast - "Very rich and elaborate with blackberry, cherry and cassis flavors, this wine is so tasty, it's easy to drink glass after glass. The tannins are firm, but soft and complex. Made from all the classic Bordeaux varieties, it’s classy and elegant, and will hold in the bottle for years."
Marilyn Wines traces its origins to 1981, when a small group of friends started making wine at their home near St. Helena in the Napa Valley. One evening in 1983, over dinner and a bottle of homemade merlot, the concept of "Marilyn Merlot" was born. The wine enjoyed a good deal of popularity around the valley and was often donated to charity auctions and given as Christmas gifts.
In 1985, the playful idea and the fine wine that bore its name led to the limited production of Marilyn Merlot for sale to the public. Over the 25 years, continuing acclaim from critics, collectors, and lovers of fine wine have led to the production of Marilyn Merlot, Marilyn Cabernet, Norma Jeane, the Velvet Collection, Marilyn Blonde de Noirs, Marilyn Red Dress, and Marilyn Sauvignon Blonde, and Marilyn Meritage. View all Marilyn Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.