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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

2005 Norma Jeane Merlot

A while back we were at a wine tasting and I asked one of the guys working if the Marilyn Merlot was any good. He thought about it and said "you know, the Marilyn Merlot is actually pretty good, but I'd stay away from the Norma Jeane if I were you."

I present with you...Norma Jeane, 2005 Merlot. Marilyn costs around $25 a bottle, this is their lower priced label and will run you about $10.

The first impression isn't good. A punch of strawberry and a very hard bite. This is from the bottle to the glass with a bit of swirling. I decided to pour our glasses and the rest of the bottle into our decanter to aerate it a bit and see what happens.

After 20 minutes in the decanter this wine softened up a went from "damn, that's harsh" to "damn, this isn't good" but for a variety of other reasons.

On the nose, all I get is strawberries. Fran claims to smell formaldehyde. I never know if she's kidding.

The wine is very light's one of the lighter wines we've had in some time. In fact, it looks like a Beaujolais.

As far as how it tastes, not surprisingly by the color, it's like a Beaujolais. There doesn't seem to be any wood--there's a bite, but this is 20% syrah which is probably where it comes from. It tastes pretty much like strawberries, maybe some cherries, and not a whole lot else. It's fruity, a bit sweetness, a hint of spice, and overall it's just very light. This is absolutely not your standard Merlot, if you poured me a glass blind and asked what it is I'd say Beaujolais. .

The bottom line? The folks at your local wine shop generally know what they're talking about. The wine isn't great, but the label gets 100 points.

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