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Golden results for Moldova’s Château Purcari

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Château Purcari stands out as the leading Moldovan producer at this year's DWWA.

Château Purcari was the most successful winery from Central and Eastern Europe at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2023, picking up three gold medals for its Saperavi Academia 2020, Saperavi Limited Edition 2021 and Maluri de Prut 2021 – a blend of two local grapes, Fetească Neagră and Rară Neagră, released to celebrate the reopening of a bridge between Romania and Moldova. The winery also won a further 11 silver medals, all of which build on its story of showcasing the amazing quality and consistency that Moldova can deliver.

Since Château Purcari – now almost 200 years old – was privatised in the early 2000s, it has become an emblem of winemaking excellence in the region. Founder and CEO Victor Bostan, a trained and experienced winemaker, understood from the beginning that owning its own vineyards would be key to the Château’s ability to deliver quality consistently. Château Purcari has 300 hectares of vines close to the winery (most of which were replanted in 2003), on a hillside just a short distance from the Dniester River and the Ukrainian border, under the moderating influence of the nearby Black Sea.

Saperavi shines

Saperavi was the superstar grape this year and is beginning to yield amazing results in Moldova. It was widely planted here in Soviet times and has always been a key ingredient in both the winery’s flagship Negru de Purcari red blend (this year winning 92 points for its very youthful 2019) and its iconic silver-winning Freedom Blend. Recently, however, producers have also found that it can more than hold its own in Moldova in single varietal wines, producing deliciously juicy, supple and fresh pours. The style is distinctively different to Georgia’s, possibly thanks to the well-drained, sandy soil over limestone bedrock on Moldova’s gently rolling hills.

International excellence

In addition to highlighting the quality of Saperavi and local grapes like Fetească Neagră and Rară Neagră, silver medals also recognised Château Purcari’s impressive expressions of international grapes, including its Chardonnay 1827, Native Pinot Noir, 1827 Cabernet Sauvignon, a very pretty Muscat Ottonel ice wine and three of the winery’s elegant sparkling wines. This breadth of success shows real strength, and builds on the winery’s track record of strong performances in past Decanter World Wine Awards.

Of course, there is no danger of Château Purcari resting on its laurels. Its latest projects focus on environmental responsibility, using solar panels, lighter bottles and sustainable viticulture. Part of the vineyards are already being converted to organic practices, and the silver-winning Native Pinot Noir is part of this project.  So raise a glass – noroc to Château Purcari and Moldova!


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