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Red Wine of Moldova

073014aWe tasted red wines from eleven of the twelve wine producers at the Wine of Moldova tasting in Washington DC on Monday, July 28th. As with the white wines, the red wines were made from international grapes, indigenous varieties and one Georgian variety. The red wines also expressed the earthiness and minerality associated with the black soils of Moldova. For those wine enthusiasts that are bored with the same international grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir, try the Moldavian wine crafted from those grapes. They offer unique aromas and tastes that we have not encountered elsewhere in our travels.

073014bAt the tasting, the predominant wines were reds. It was easy to find Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot at several of the producers. Of these, I liked Ampelos Winery’s Et Cetera 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine had a dark ruby opaque color. The expected blackberries and cassis taste was unique with the minerality and earthiness of the place. The wine had bold tannins and the fruity finish yielded to mineral. When we go to tastings I do try to search out indigenous grape varieties and the producers at Wine of Moldova had two wines made with indigenous red grapes. Chateau Purcari 2012 Rara Neagra was a translucent ruby color. The wine had floral and red berry notes on the aroma and taste. The finish was crisp yielding to mineral.The Rara Neagra grape was also used in several of the blends that we tasted. Another native grape was used to craft a wine by Lion-Gri. The 2013 Feteasca Neagra was a dark opaque ruby color. There were notes of black raspberries, plums, and mineral to accompany the medium-high tannins. The finish was crisp with fruit yielding to mineral.

073014cMy favorite red wine of the event was also a wine by Lion-Gri. Their 2011 Saperavi was a dark purple to black opaque color. The same color profile we encountered numerous times while in the country Georgia. This Saperavi offered spices and black fruits on the aroma and taste. The wine had very bold chewy tannins. The fruit on the finish yielded to mineral and earth. This Georgian variety was grown in the Stefan-Voda wine region in the south eastern part of Moldova.

I was impressed with the native varieties grown in Moldova and the wines crafted from them. All the wines express the soil making them unique on the world stage. If you have an opportunity,  try a wine from Moldova. The southeastern European country, sandwiched between Romania and the Ukraine, has grown wine grapes and produced wine for thousands of years.


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