Purcari wine from a corner of Eastern Europe via Virgin Wines
Would you pay £15+ for a bottle of Moldovan wine? Have you had a Moldovan wine before? Or even seen one?
This is certainly an off-the-beaten-track wine as far as geography and grape varieties go - anyone had a Feteasca Neagră / Rara Neagră blend before?
I once went through a stage of trying the most obscure wines I could find - partly due to a series of jobs that took me to plenty of small, little-visited countries in central and Eastern Europe.
So, I have something of a fondness for Feteasca Neagră, which is sort of Romania's answer to Syrah - plump, dark-fruited and spicy, even if Rara Neagră is completely new to me.
And checking my notes, I have tried Moldovan wines before - and been impressed. Just not very often.
Oenologically, it helps to think of Moldova as an extension of Romania; as well as linguistic, historic and cultural links between the two countries, many of the same grape varieties are cultivated and the styles (in my limited experience) are similar - clean, pure and fresh, food-friendly wines.
If you want a full deconstruction of the chateau and the wine:
- the chateau is located in the southern part of Moldova near the Black Sea between Odesa (Ukraine) and the Danube Delta (Romania)
- the Prut is a river and the fruit for this wine comes from vineyards on both sides of the river
- Feteasca Neagră and Rara Neagră are both indigenous Moldovan grape varieties
Maluri de Prut Feteasca Neagră and Rara Neagră 2016 (£15.99, Virgin Wines) deep plum, dark cherry and dark berry fruit with oaky spice; complex and fresh, full and supple. Harmonious with very fine, well-integrated tannins. A pleasing sour-cherry rasp develops with air. Very assured and adept.
Drinking nicely now, will improve with age.
Match with red meat.