Cuvée Aleksandr NV
A blanc de blancs, made from 100% Chardonnay, this attractively packaged wine has a rich, toasty style that stands comparison with many a Champagne.
RRP £14.49 (or £12.99 in a case of 12). Get it from Laithwaites here.
Feteascǎ Regalǎ, Château Vartely 2017
Feteasca, one of Moldova’s ‘own’ grape varieties, comes in various shapes – ‘Alba’ – white – Regala – princess – and Neagra – black. The Regala is in fact a cross between the Feteasca Alba and another variety, the Grasa and is widely grown because of its appealing floral, white plum and apple flavours – which are very apparent in this unoaked ecxample.
RRP £6.25. Get it from The Wine Society here.
Carpe Diem Femme Fatale 2016
To declare an interest, I think I may have been influential in the original creation of this wine – by blending some of Lon Luca’s Feteasca Alba and Feteasca Regala when he showed them to me in his Chisinau wine bar and shop – the most popular spot for Moldovan wine lovers and visitors. It is a lovely peary, peachy-floral wine, with a character that is all its own.
Purcari Rara Negra 2016
Purcari prides itself on selling wine in China and to Berry Bros & Rudd, wine merchants to Buckingham Palace. This is a delicious example of a raspberry-pummy grape that is indigenous to Moldova. Complex and distinctive.
RRP on offer £20.20 on Amazon.co.uk
Fautor Negre Rara Neagră & Feteasca Neagră 2016
A regular winner at international wine competitions, Fautor picked up a Gold medal for this plummy, cherryish wine at the Mundus Vini with which I am involved.
Et Cetera Cuvee Blanc 2016
Wine tourism is beginning to gather steam in Moldova. One of the smaller pioneers, Et Cetera has also been a great exponent of the Moldovan art of blending. This barrel fermented effort brings together Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc and, I think, a small contribution from Native Moldovan grapes. It’s a very New World style, with good flesh and freshness.
Castel Mimi Rosu de Bulboaca 2014
I must confess that I was not blown away by my first experiences with this impressive-looking winery’s early releases, but it really seems to be getting into its stride with wines like this Bordeaux-like Merlot-Cabernet blend.
Equinox, 5 Elemente 2014
A small winery with a surprisingly large range of wines, including this impressive, deep, berryish-spicy blend of Merlot, Malbec. Syrah, Carmenere and just a little local rara Neagra
Mezalimpe Merlot 2014
Merlot is a variety Moldova can do very well with, as this mid-weight, plummy example demonstrates.
Château Vartely Chardonnay Dulce Alb 2013
Late harvest, sweet Chardonnay is a rarity. In France producers are guillotined for even thinking of making this style. I really enjoy the luscious yet fresh combination of pineapple and peach flavours of this wine which truly stands alone in the world of wine.
RRP £15.99 (£14.49 when you buy 12) from Laithwaites.