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Many reds show their depth closer to room temperature. For those vinophiles who appreciate a red that holds up to a decent chill, Gnarly Head's 2010 Merlot is an excellent value.

Gnarly Head is a wine brand I usually ignore, but for a pizza dinner I wanted a cheap red, and this was under $8. With no time to chill, the first glass was underwhelming. A bit too much acidity came through on the finish, and the wine had diesel notes--a common characteristic in some ambitious reds, but not one I like in a merlot.

In a startling turnaround, the next day's drinking with a decent chill proved this to be an outstanding red for the money. Lush, with loads of varied dark fruit, and a velvet finish with excellent balance, it shone when served cooler, something many reds do poorly. Highly recommended at 55 degrees F, and a good choice for white wine drinkers who normally shun reds.
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