What to Drink
Best Moldovan Wine of 2021
Rose De Purcari Sapiens won the Best in the Country Award (Moldova) at the 2021 London Wine Competition.
Sapiens, the most perfect yet controversial creature. Human, a complex body of contradictions, is the inspiration of this Sapiens series from Purcari Winery. Rose De Purcari Sapiens took home the title of the Best Mondorian Wine of 2021 (Best in Show by Country) at the 2021 London Wine Competition.
With 90% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Saperavi, this wine has intense rosé colour, a body fuller than expected from a regular rosé, wrapped in an explosion of strawberries, raspberries, and berries. A contrast between the crunchy freshness of the opening and the sweet, long aftertaste.
Every winemaker aims to bring their product to the world. However, only a small few come near, and far fewer succeed in capturing the hearts of all those who try the wine. At the 2021 London Wine Competition, the criteria are even tougher. Here wines are entered from more than 70 countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, France, and are judged based on their quality, value for money, and packaging. The end goal is to help consumers find the best wines to drink but to get there; a wine has to please industry experts who have dedicated their lives to bringing the best wines to everyone.
The winners were judged and awarded by experts like Christopher Delalonde MS (Head of Wines at The Dorchester Hotel), Matteo Montone MS (Master Sommelier, World's best young sommelier 2019 Chaine de Rôtisseurs, Wine Director at Edition, London), Svetoslav Manolev MS (Master Sommelier working as Head Sommelier & Wine Buyer Flemings Mayfair, London), and with many more on the list, one can expect that only the best wines will come up top.
History of the Winery
The Genesis -
By the end of the twelfth century, Moldova’s wine industry had become a crucial sector of Southeastern Europe’s economy. While the whole region has favourable conditions for viniculture, specific areas are most fertile for growing the most full-bodied grapes. The village of Purcari and the Agon Zograf Monastery vineyards lay at the heart of this special terroir.
Recognizing similarities in the soil and climate with the Bordeaux region, French settlers entered into partnerships with the monastery and began cultivating Purcari’s special vintages in the eighteenth century.
Several decades later, after the enterprise had become a profitable success, it was confirmed that Purcari vineyards are located at the same latitude as France’s famous wine region, and like Bordeaux, the soil rich was rich in rubidium (which is what gives both regions’ wines their intense purple colour). As the region’s red wines developed, their bouquets were able to attain comparable levels of intensity and complexity.
The Foundation -
In 1827, the Emperor of Russia Nicholas I issued a special decree granting Purcari the status of the first specialized winery in Bessarabia. It was named in honour of one of the founders originating from Germany – Harmizone. Since then, the owners of Purcari have become Moldovan boyars (barons), Dancila and Clot, other Germans, Russians and French.
Two decades later, at the Agricultural Bessarabian Fair, Purcari received its first gold medal.
By 1878, the winery was being celebrated in a closed wine tasting at the Paris World Expo. French experts were impressed with a dry wine of intense ruby colour, being sure that it was a new Bordeaux wine. What a surprise when they found it had originated in a small village on the banks of the Dniester River. In such a way, the Negru de Purcari wine won its first gold medal at an international exhibition.
For a long time, Purcari wines were as popular as Bordeaux or Burgundy wines. The wine was served to Emperor Nicholas II, King George V and Queen Victoria of Great Britain. Sold in Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and France, Purcari wines were highly appreciated and continued to win international acclaim.
The Consolidation -
Emerging from war, a new era in Purcari’s history started in 1950, when the Moldovan winemakers restored the classic production techniques of the famous wines. One of the greatest professionals of that time – Pimen Cupcea, reconstructed the legendary Negru de Purcari, while Ion Ungureanu created a new masterpiece – Purpuriu de Purcari.
Purcari wines once again achieved wide popularity and became synonymous with the Republic of Moldova.
At the turn of the century, Château Purcari replanted 250 hectares of vineyards and installed state-of-the-art technology at the winery. As Moldova’s most prestigious export, Purcari leads the nation’s international development by entering into over 25 markets including the US, Canada, UK, Norway, Czech Republic, China, Poland, and the Baltic countries.
In 2010, the company launched Alb de Purcari – a new vintage that has been garnering many international awards and recognitions.
By 2012, the Purcari collection boasted Icewine, derived from frozen Muscat Ottonel and Traminer grapes. For outstanding achievements in winemaking and promoting Moldova's image abroad, Purcari Winery became the owner of the Grand Prix in winemaking, awarded by the Republic of Moldova Government.
The last decade of Purcari’s almost two centuries has seen the winery reach the most advanced and complex stage of its development. With the vineyards planted in 2003 reaching maturity, the quality of the grapes has improved significantly. The Château is poised to once again compete for discerning palates around the world.
Nestled in the countryside unfurling between the Dniester River and the Black Sea, Purcari’s modern technologies and traditional delights rest among verdant hillsides. Nearby lakes offer fishing, boating, and other relaxing pursuits that heighten the senses.
At the Château, great wines naturally meet with great gastronomic experiences. A la carte food accompanied by wonderful Purcari wines will be appreciated by food connoisseurs and discerning travellers.
European cuisine lovers will appreciate house specialities - Black Flank Steak and Foie Gras, and those who prefer traditional food can taste the masterpieces of Moldovan cuisine (developed on a frontier where several ethnic traditions of Europe blend together).
Experience tells us that your visit to Purcari will be love at first sight, and be the perfect background for a lifetime of memories.
The Cellars, Source Facebook
Purcari wines are aged exclusively in French oak barrels. Depending on the grape type, the ageing periods vary from 6 to 18 months, while the wine becomes rich in tannins and aromatic components. This gives the aroma of elegant wood, vanilla, and chocolate notes to the taste.
After ageing in the barrels, the wine is bottled in a cold room, under sterile conditions, with natural cork stoppers as it continues its ageing in the bottle for another 6 months.
Purcari Wines, Source Facebook
Purcari wines are produced from manually harvested and selected grapes, processed by a traditional method, based on the strictest canons of French viniculture. Before fermentation, the grapes are cooled to obtain a high-quality wine, then the fermentation is repeated.
After obtaining the young wine, filtered and clarified at a low temperature, the creation of the famous vintage wines continues for Negru de Purcari, Rosu de Purcari, and Alb de Purcari.
Excursion and Tasting
Excursion - a tour of the “Purcari” Winery, which includes:
The industrial part of the factory – grape processing department, department for storage of the wine, the bottling line.
The historical part of the factory – visits to cellars, where wines are matured in oak tanks and bottles; survey of the wine collection “Purcari'', survey the tourist complex; the tasting halls, hotel and the specialized shop.
Wine Tasting - takes place in one of the two tasting halls of the Tourist Complex “Purcari” with samples of their premium quality wine, according to the chosen pack, accompanied with crackers and still water.
Buy Rose De Purcari Sapiens -
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Header Image: Purcari Winery, Source Facebook