Exploring the Delights of Chateau Purcari Wines: A Memorable Tasting Experience06-12-2023
The Moldovan winery, Château Pucari, hosted a press lunch at Restaurant Vermeer in Amsterdam, arranged by PitchPR and Vinify. Thank you for inviting us. We had the chance to sample various wines from Château Pucari, with guidance from the Château Pucari ambassador Jan Jaap Altenburg. It was a fantastic opportunity to explore the wide range of wines offered by Moldova's biggest winery.
What is Château Purcari?
Château Purcari is a winery located in the Purcari region of Moldova. It is renowned for producing high-quality wines, including red, white, and dessert wines. Château Purcari is the largest winery in Moldova, with 300 hectares of vineyards, equivalent to all the vineyards in the Netherlands! They have made significant efforts over the years to establish themselves as a highly respected winery. The winery has achieved notable milestones, such as winning a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1878 and earning numerous awards in prestigious competitions including Decanter, Challenge International du Vin, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, and the International Wine and Spirit Competition.
Tasting during the lunch
We started this event with a sparkling wine, which is currently not available in The Netherlands. This is because it is priced at around 20 euros, and there are many other options available at this price. Vinify has decided not to import it at this time.
For lunch, we had autumn vegetables with Vadouvan and herb jus. We paired this with 3 white wines: Château Purcari 1827 Sauvignon Blanc 2022, Château Purcari 1827 Viorica 2022, and Château Purcari 1827 Traminer 2022. In my opinion, the Viorica was the best pairing as it complemented the vadovan and veggies really well. The Traminer was the most interesting and exciting wine due to its contrasting characteristics. The Sauvignon Blanc was the safest option but couldn't match the intense flavors of the vadovan, which is a fermented curry.
For the main course, we had braised beef with onion celery jus, which was paired with 3 red wines. The Château Purcari 1827 Rara Neagra 2022, Château Purcari Freedom Blend 2021, and Château Purcari Negru de Purcari 2020 were the wines selected. My favorite pairing was the Freedom Blend, as it was smooth and structured enough to complement the flavorful beef and still blend well together. The Negru de Purcari is a very powerful wine and it overwhelmed the flavors a bit too much for my taste, although it was still a great combination. I prefer it when the flavors harmonize and blend together. I would like to experience the sensation of the dance on my taste buds.The Rara Neagra was also very nice, but I felt it lacked a bit of structure when paired with the spiced beef.
Overall, all the pairings were solid, and this is a great way to discover your personal preferences. So go ahead and challenge yourself! For dessert, we had pear with coffee and green curry ice cream. This was paired with the Château Purcari 1827 Icewine 2017, and it was a great combination. The ice wine had a lot of acidity, which complemented the softness of the ice cream and the spices of the green curry. It was a perfect match. All the dishes were prepared perfectly, perfectly complementing the wines. The collaboration between the sommelier and the chef was evident, resulting in an exceptional experience. Thanks a lot for this team Vermeer!
Tasting notes and more details of the wines
- Cuveé de Purcari Alb Brut is a delightful sparkling wine with elegant bubbles. It has a medium yellow color in the glass. The aromas consist of green apple, lemon, lime, and some flowers. On the palate, it offers a vibrant taste with notes of green and a hint of red apple, lemon, lime zest, peach, and a touch of brioche. It has medium acidity and a flinty aftertaste.
- Château Purcari 1827 Sauvignon Blanc 2022 is a very light yellow wine with typical Sauvignon Blanc characteristics in the nose, such as floral notes, apple, and gooseberry, all presented in a gentle manner. On the palate, it offers a dry taste with green apple and lemon flavors, medium acidity, and a nice complexity that is very enjoyable. The price for this wine is €12.75. You can find more information about it here.
- Château Purcari 1827 Viorica 2022 is a medium yellow wine that I found pleasantly surprising because of its abundant aromas. It has noticeable scents of flowers, pear, apple, lemon, and orange. When tasting it, the flavors are not as strong as the aromas, but still include pear, apple, tropical fruit, and a subtle touch of flintiness and wet stone. The wine has a good balance with medium(+) acidity and provides a pleasing complexity. The price is €14,75 and you can find more information here
- Château Purcari 1827 Traminer 2022 is a medium yellow wine with a rich aroma of exotic fruit, lemon, and plenty of peach. The taste is floral and herbal, with hints of exotic fruit, lime, and stone fruit. It has a moderate to high level of acidity and a long aftertaste. The price is €21.50. For more information, please visit Link.
- Chateau Purcari 1827 Rara Neagra 2022 has a pleasant ruby color. It offers straightforward round spiced aromas with abundant pepper, red fruit, and a palate that showcases black pepper, strawberries, and both red and black fruit, with a touch of cherries. It has medium (+) acidity and medium tannins, making it a very enjoyable smooth red wine that many people will appreciate. The price is €14.75. You can find more information about it here.
- Château Purcari Freedom Blend 2021 is my favorite red wine from this tasting. The color is between ruby and purple, and the aromas are well-balanced with notes of red fruit, cherries, blackberries, raspberries, spices, floral hints, leather, tobacco, and even a hint of coffee. The palate is juicy, with flavors of cherry, chocolate, blackberry, strawberry, and raspberry, accompanied by medium (+) acidity and medium (+) tannins that are present but smooth, leading to an elegant long aftertaste. It pairs well with food but is also enjoyable on its own. The price is €17.50 and more information: Link
- Chateau Purcari Negru de Purcari 2020 is a powerful red wine, with a robust and intense character. It has a deep ruby color with a slight purple rim. The wine exhibits intense aromas of vanilla, wood, red fruit, leather, black fruit, cacao, and cherries. On the palate, it is also intense yet elegant, offering flavors of spices, red and black fruit, cherries, blackberry, strawberries, licorice, and laurel. The wine has a nice concentration, medium(+) acidity, and medium (++) grippy tannins, resulting in a long aftertaste. To fully enjoy this wine, pair it with a dish that has a good amount of spices, allowing the flavors to complement each other without overpowering the dish. The price of this wine is €24.50. You can find more information here.
- Château Purcari 1827 Icewine 2017 has a beautiful amber color in the glass. It offers full aromas and complex notes of exotic fruit, honey, dried apple, buttered pear. The palate is full and intense with a pleasant acidity. You can taste some sweet nuts, almonds, dried apple, butter-baked pear, floral notes, peach, and exotic fruits. It is well-balanced, not too sweet or heavy. It doesn't feel like a strong syrup, but rather like an elegant ripe wine that pairs well with ice cream and cheese. The price is €35,95. You can find more information about it here.
Special words about the Purcari Freedom Blend
The Freedom Blend is a special wine with two purposes: to raise funds for the Ukrainian war effort and to highlight Russia's expansionist aims. Moldova, which is located near Ukraine, feels a strong connection to Ukrainians and is deeply concerned about Russian advances. Wine production is crucial to Moldova's economy.
In 2014, Château Purcari released the Freedom Blend to celebrate Moldova's independence from the Soviet Union and condemn Russian military aggression. The blend consists of three grape varieties: Rară Neagră symbolizes Moldova, Saperavi represents Georgia, and Bastardo Magarachsky represents Ukraine. While the Ukrainian variety plays a small role in the blend, Rară Neagră and Saperavi are the main grape varieties. Blending the wine is a challenge due to their scarcity, but Purcari is determined to represent all three countries in this highly political wine. All profits from the sale of the Freedom Blend are donated to the Ukrainian war effort. Despite its uniqueness, the Freedom Blend is widely distributed, showing solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
Conclusion, great value for money
If you are looking for something new to explore with good value for money, consider trying wines from Moldova. The wines from Château Purcari are easy to find and have a pleasing taste. They offer familiar options like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir, as well as less common varieties like Rara Neagra, Saperavi, and Muscat Ottonel. There is a lot to discover and explore.
For a surprise, try serving a Sauvignon Blanc without revealing where it's from, or pair a Muscat Ottonel ice wine with a delicious dessert to enhance your dining experience.
Many thanks to PitchPR and Vinify for organizing this Château Purcari press lunch at Restaurant Vermeer in Amsterdam. It was informative and enjoyable. Special thanks to Jan Jaap Altenburg, who served as a knowledgeable guide and a real ambassador, introducing us to the wonderful wines of Château Purcari. This added an extra dimension to the wine experience.