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Moldova: Award-winning wines and a national wine day to celebrate

With two Best in Show medal winners from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards and the Republic of Moldova's 19th annual National Wine Day this weekend, discover what Moldovan wine is all about...

Results for the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards were announced just last week and Moldova experienced a breakthrough year.

The significant but often underrated wine-producing nation secured two Best in Show medals for Asconi Winery’s Sol Begru Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2019 and Purcari’s Viorica de Purcari 2019 made from 100% Viorica, an indigenous white grape variety. Only 50 wines (just 0.3% of all wines entered) were awarded this highly sought-after accolade.

In addition, Moldova received one Platinum, three Gold, 36 Silver and 55 Bronze medals. Regional Chair for North, Central & Eastern Europe, Beth Willard commented, ‘It’s really great to see some of the reds from Eastern Europe, like Moldova, showing a lot more freshness and really great quality oak. The wines are a lot more balanced, so we’ve had some standout wines.’

Scroll down to see Moldova’s 95+ point wines from DWWA 2020

Moldova’s National Wine Day

Just in time to celebrate DWWA 2020 results, Moldova’s 19th annual National Wine Day with the slogan ‘Eu deVIN sărbătoare’ or ‘My Wine Day’ is this weekend (3-4 October) to honour the country’s wine heritage and traditions in winemaking.

The wine festival normally attracts tens of thousands of tourists to the Grand National Assembly Square in Chisinau with colourful fairs, wine tastings, competitions, open-air performances and more, but this year, in line with safety measures, the event will be virtual with a ‘My Wine Day’ Zoom webinar on 3 October hosted by Jamie Goode, wine author, judge and columnist of The Sunday Express.

Wine of Moldova invites all wine enthusiast and professionals around the world to ‘travel’ to Moldova and learn about its indigenous grape varieties.

Visit wineday.wineofmoldova.com to find out how to participate this 3 October at 7 pm EEST / 6 pm CEST / 5 pm BST

About Moldovan wines

Located in Eastern Europe, Moldova sits between Ukraine and Romania and has a winemaking history tracing back 5,000 years. Moldova’s vineyards are located at 46-47˚ latitude, similar to Burgundy, and its topography is varied with low hills and sunny plateaus and plains. Its climate is moderately-continental and influenced by the Black Sea.

European grape varieties account for just over 70% of Moldova’s 112,000 hectares of vineyards, 70% of which are planted to white varieties including Rkatsiteli, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Aligote. Red varieties planted include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Saperavi.

The authenticity and singularity of Moldovan wines is represented by the country’s indigenous varieties which account for 10% of the vineyards, including Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Feteasca Neagra, Rara Neagra, Plavai and Viorica.

Purcari Since 1827 Traminer 2019, DWWA 2020 Platinum medal winner

DWWA 2020: 95+ point wines from Moldova

Asconi Winery, Sol Negru Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé, Codru 2019

Best in Show, 97 points
Moldova’s second success in our Best in Show selection this year is a top-value rosé wine which impressed our judges on multiple fronts. In colour, first of all: the soft petal pink is magnetic. It’s sweet scented but without anything cloying to it, and the flavours are just deep enough to provide a fix of focussed pleasure, but not so deep as to efface the essential drinkability of this ever-more-popular wine style. This is not easy to pull off using naturally assertive Cabernet Sauvignon grapes; the winemaking team here has judged it perfectly. There is just a little barely palpable sweetness on the palate which adds to the overall tenderness, yet a brightly rounded acidity keeps everything fresh.

Purcari, Viorica de Purcari 2019

Best in Show, 97 points

Two Moldovan wines in our Best in Show selection makes 2020 a breakthrough year for this significant but often underrated wine-producing nation – and what could be more appropriate than that one of these is based on the indigenous variety Viorica. If you’re not familiar with the variety (and it doesn’t appear in Robinson, Harding and Vouillamoz’s Wine Grapes, so that probably means most of us), look out for a pale colour, very attractive aromas which resemble Muscat grapes mixed with honeysuckle and freesia flowers, and flavours of soft, sustaining purity. The fruits evoke grapes and white grapefruit with a little lemon rind, and it finishes clean, bright and brisk. Freshness is part of its great-value charm, so this is clearly a wine for drinking, not storing.

Purcari, Since 1827 Traminer 2019

Platinum, 97 points
Classic and attractive aromas of perfumed orange, Turkish delight, lemon sherbet and grapey notes. Vibrant fruit with a lovely concentration supported by a refreshing acidity. It ends in a lingering finish with memories of aniseed.

Castel Mimi, Ice Wine Riesling, Anenii-Noi, Codru 2018

Gold, 95 points
Appealing nose with ripe aromas of apricots, apples, honey and touches of spice. On the palate it shows a lovely lifted acidity providing freshness.

Purcari, Negru de Purcari Limited Edition, Stefan Voda 2015

Gold, 95 points
Savoury spice, dried tobacco, cedar and nutmeg undertones framed by dark plums and blackcurrant notes. Lovely juicy fruit intensity, polished and very fresh on the palate.

Purcari, Since 1827 Rara Neagră 2019

Gold, 95 points
Expressive nose showing lively red cherries, black fruits, garrigue, vine tomato and floral notes. Ripe silky tannins, really elegant and mouth filling. Vibrant and persistent.

Search all award-winning wines from Moldova

DWWA 2020 medal stickers

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