(2014) Moldova is one of those 'bubbling' under countries which, since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, has slowly been finding its wine feet as once state controlled vineyards find new owners and improvements are made. This comes from the Purcari estate, home to the Purcari cellars founded in 1827. Unoaked, there is a herb-scented, lightly floral aspect to this, as well as having ripely nutty, Cox's pippin and pear fruit. There's a suggestion of ripe concentration, but gentleness too. In the mouth it is bone-dry, with a pithy quality to the fruit - lemon and grapefruit - but enough leesy texture and richness to smooth the finish. Much more Pinot Gris than Pinto Grigio.
(2014) The second wine from Purcari in this selection is made from the indigenous Rara Neagra variety, harvested with low yields and made in steel with no oak influence. It pours an inviting, not too dense garnet red, with a really delightful nose: dried herbs and juicy red cherries, a touch of pomegranate and floral lift and plenty of pepper and spice. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and fresh, a really good core of red fruits is dancing and agile on the tongue, and whilst the tannins are smooth and gentle, there is spice and there is acidity to give this some structure and some real presence into the finish. Pinot meets Sangiovese meets Malbec - or something like that. I really liked this.