Skip to Content

A Special Look At The Wines of Moldova and Chateau Purcari

A Special Look At The Wines of Moldova and Chateau Purcari

While this blog is 98% focused on Costco wine, occasionally I like to branch out and cover other areas of the wine industry that seem timely or interesting to me at the moment.  I’m a big fan of always exploring the full world of wine, and that stretches way beyond the areas that are most commonly found at your local grocery store.  I try to buy new wines from new regions every chance I get.  One of the areas that I’m perhaps the least well versed in, but also the most interested in, is the Eastern European countries, and producers in Croatia, Hungary and in this case Moldova.

When I have a chance to explore wines from these areas I jump at it.  They are often times under loved and under appreciated, a situation that results in good, quality wine, at really good prices, which is really what this blog has always been about.

I remember being first turned on to Malbec over a decade ago.  Finding bottles of Malbec wasn’t easy back then and it certainly wasn’t a wine that was talked about at most cocktail parties.  Now, however, it’s everywhere, and still, in my opinion, remains a great buy.

I am approached by wine marketers quite often about reviewing wines for this site, and I always turn them down.  But I was recently approached by the most pleasant woman in the world representing Moldovian wines, and given my interest in this region, I let the conversation continue.  We spoke multiple times on the phone about the wines and the interest that was growing around them at top spots in New York City and DC.  My interest grew and I had zero experience with these wines, so when she offered to send some my way, I accepted.  So there’s my disclaimer.  As far as I know these wines are not featured at Costco, and they were sent to me to taste for free.  I never promised anything and really, remained skeptical, until I tasted them.  And then I knew I had to write this piece.  The wines are really tasty.

The bottles I received are all from Purcari, which is one of the top producers in the region. Grapes have grown in Moldova for millions of years so wine has a deep, multi-generational history in the region.   The main indigenous grape is called Rara Neagra, a light to medium bodied red varietal that is rich acidity with notes of sour cherry.

Rose De PurcariI was presented with a Rose, a white blend, and three different red wines.  I found them all to be extremely enjoyable, which again, is not at all what I expected.  Often times we get stuck into thinking the great wines only come from the places we know best, but I think as wider distribution opens up the world economy we will only get access to more wine from more places around the globe.  And that’s a great thing for consumers.

I started out with the 2014 Rose de Purcari, which is actually made with 85% Cabernet sauvignon and 15% Rara Neagra.  Right off the bat I could tell that Rara Neagra is a grape I bet more people will be familiar with in the years to come. This is a great, dry and super refreshing Rose packed with red fruit flavor, a little tart and a clean, lasting finish.Alb De Purcari

Next we tried the 2012 white blend, called Alb de Purcari.  This wine is comprised of 50% Chardonnay, 45% Pinot Gris and 5% Pinot Blanc, and the Chardonnay really seemed to dominate; there is a slight oak element but pleasant, heavy vanilla, butterscotch, oaky nose, citrus fruit, and apricot.  This wine also really surprised me and perhaps many others since it achieved a 90 point rating from Wine Enthusiast.  It’s perfect for almost any cuisine, and equally enjoyable on its own.

Rara Neagra De PurcariAs we get into the reds, we’ll start with the 2014 Rara Neagra (around $15) which I found to be very nice with some immediate air, almost pinot in color.  Medium in body, juicy red fruit, strawberry, cherry, candy apple, clean, no oak, touch of spice.  Food friendly and inviting, almost like a rich Pinot, made from Rara Neagra.

Next up is the 2010 Negru de Purcari ($27) which is 70% Cabernet-Sauvignon, 20% Saperavi, and 10% Rara Neagra.  This was a spicy, dry red with dark fruit flavor that is made to compliment red meat dishes.  This wine also received 90 points from Wine Enthusiast.Negru De Purcari

Lastly, we sampled the 2010 Rosu de Purcari ($33.00) which is made up of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Malbec, a blend that is right up my alley and the wine delivered on all accords.  This one has more of a mixed red and dark fruit flavor, hints of cherry along with blackberry, with a touch of oak toward the Rosu De Purcarifinish.  This is another food friendly offering that’s a great value in this price range.  I think it would have you guessing it was a high end red blend from more well-known areas of Europe. And it’s another 90 pointer from Wine Enthusiast.

In the end, if you love wine, you know you have a huge world to explore.  I’ve always viewed this as a lifelong journey, especially since as good and bad vintages come and go, it’s a moving target no matter where you look in the wine world.  And the only way to know what you like is to explore, learn more, sample a ton of different wines and varietals, take it all in and begin to establish a foundation on which to create your own wine profile.

I’d like to thank the folks at Meet Moldova and Purcari wines for letting me extend my wine knowledge about a region I wasn’t familiar with, and I hope you find this overview to inspire your own wine explorations.

— Andrew, Editor

To learn more about Moldovian wines, be sure to check out the following:

Meet Moldova Facebook Page

Purcari Wines

And here’s a quick hit list of some other recent accolades these wines have won:

Alb de Purcari

Decanter Worldwide 2015 Bronze Medal
Challenge International du Vin Bordeaux Bronze Medal

Rose de Purcari

Challenge International du Vin Bordeaux 2015 Bronze Medal
Concurs Mondial Bruxelles 2015 Silver Medal
Decanter Worldwide 2015 Silver Medal

Negru de Purcari

Decanter Worldwide 2015 Bronze Medal
International Wine & Spirits Competition 2015 Bronze Medal


Wednesday 25th of November 2015

Thank you Andrew!!

I am glad that at least a small variety of the Wines of Moldova reached someone at Costco. I have launched a start-up wine distributing company in Massachusetts just this year, and we have a variety of over 25 fine wines from Moldova, including the ones described above. I was born and raised in Moldova and can assure wine lovers, a must try.

Anyone would be impressed with what this wines have to offer, especially quality-to-price ration... The Best!!!

And we will work hard on convincing Costco, at least in Massachusetts, that Wines of Moldova would make a great addition to their selection.

Alice Kachejian

Friday 20th of November 2015

Andrew I really enjoyed your review of Purcari wines! I got a chance to enjoy the Rosu de Purcari while I was up in New York. What a treat! I loved this blend and the price point is fantastic for what it delivers. The best part was discovering that Wine Enthusiast rated it 90 points. Now I just need to find them locally so I can share them with friends and family.

Vasile Tofan

Friday 20th of November 2015

Purcari is a Moldovan institution, by all means. It is a David vs. Goliath match though, as a small Moldovan winery faces the much better financed and CPA-subsidized players from Western Europe or the sheer scale of the New World industrial wineries. Hopefully the shift that happened to the coffee or chocolate industry will touch the wine world too, with an increasing consumer preference towards producers from smaller, peripheral countries, that have to work twice-harder and offer outstanding value for money just to be considered. Luckily, Purcari is well on track in doing it. Their wines are sublime! And the many Decanter awards or Wine Enthusiast's 90+ points confirm it. Hopefully the Costco shoppers will get the chance to taste it too!

Haley J

Thursday 19th of November 2015

Love this- about time Purcari Wines were featured by such a great company! Their Rose is my all time favorite, best I've ever had!!


Thursday 19th of November 2015

I would love to be able to buy Purcari wines at Costco!

Comments are closed.