PRINCE STIRBEY | Novac | 2016


We will be evaluating wines in no particular order on no particular schedule. Just stay tuned and you will never miss our reviews. If the wine is tasted more than once, the rating table will be updated so as to reflect all the new impressions and observations.

Today we are going to review a single varietal, indigenous novac wine from Romania – Novac 2016 by Prince Stirbey. Novac grape variety has been obtained by individual selection and crossing of two indigenous varieties: romanian negru vartos and georgian saperavi. The crossing of these grapes created a new variety that is widely different from international mainstream ones, as wines made of novac grapes are neither extracted nor concentrated, but finely nuanced, elegant and deep in both, color and complexity. This specific wine has been matured for at least one year in old, used, big oak barrels, thus keeping the tannins in the background and the variety aromatics on the foreground. But let’s not get carried away by all that theory, without further ado – on to the tasting phase!
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:


Pale and transparent pomegranate color, with bright-purple hues towards the rim of the glass.


The nose is strong, filled mostly with red & black fruits and herbaceous-earthy flavours: ripe sour cherry, black plum, red currant, leather, blackcurrant, black cherry, black soil, blackberry and some nuanced irony-meaty hints. An instant later the nose is filled with notes of red & black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, black tea and insistent yet delicate flavours of game & hunt meat.


The wine is extra-dry, with high alcohol level, high acidity and rough tannin. It feels tart, rough, seedy, with a quite green-tannic accent. This is a quite youthful, astringent and austere wine, as it tastes acrid and angular, with a quite aggressive, bitter-seedy mouthfeel. This is a wine that is definitely off the balance, as it lacks any form of harmony and elegance on the plate.


The wine has a medium-plus finish and a rough, green and quite acrid aftertaste.

96x96This is definitely a good wine of Romania and, with a total of 89.5 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.

Conclusion: this is a quite rough and angular novac wine, one that is quite a bit off its balance – a wine that is still on the rise, as it feels too young and austere at the moment. We would suggest a couple more years of bottle ageing, so that the wine will get enough to settle down and round up its edges. Right now, the wine feels sharp and seedy, with green tannins and a coarse mouthfeel. We’d recommend to pair this wine with naturally flavoured meats, like for example braised wild boar shanks or grilled venison steak, in order to counter-balance all the sharp edges in the wine with the flavours of the dish. Noroc!

WineStatistics tasting results:

Novac | 2016

grape: | novac |

region: Romania | Dragasani

overall rating: | 89.5 |

maturity: on the rise

conclusion: good | (recommended)



© The WineStatistics ratings are based solely on our own knowledge of the world of wine and on our personal wine tastes, which may, or may not, differ from yours – the reader. Just remember that there are no absolutes of right and wrong in wine appreciation.

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