The Financial Mail said, "in the U.S. consider the name of the top-selling California red: Marilyn Merlot. Featuring the famous actress with her face half-covered by a red chiffon veil and wearing little else...it is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% of Cabernet Franc grown in the Napa Valley. Though gentlemen are suppose to prefer blondes, currnet U.S. figures indicate red..."
Winemaker notes after bottling and the release in 1999: "The 1997 Marilyn Merlot is an exceptional bottle of wine. This rich Napa Valley Merlot is a blend of 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc, creating an impression of fullness in the mouth with a nice balance of acids and tannins and a suggestion of oak. Aromas of ripe, plump blackberry complement the lovely, lingering fruit on the finish."