Candlelight photo of a bottle of Pino Doncel Black wine, with glass and cork.

Pino Doncel Black Changed My (Wine) Life

Dark flavors for dark times

Pino Doncel Black — monastrell/mourvedre, syrah, and 20% petit verdot — was there for me when I needed a dark, earthy wine in the under $15 range. ($12 on sale at Calvert Woodley in Washington, DC.)

Big

Yes, 20% petit verdot won me straight away. My first bottle I was struck by the tannin, but now I hardly notice. I get the lush, rich feeling that I like (14.5% alcohol) and this strong darkness.

Great

It takes a lot to get me to postpone drinking my hot-climate shiraz favorites. Pino Doncel Black is a lot.

More

The winery is in Jumilla. It’s a family-run bodega, founded in 1914.

To me, this seems like an upgrade over pure Monastrell. And if you’re going to blend, blending with petite verdot beats blending with grenache any day.