EQUINOX | Merlot | 2017


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 wine that has been released recently on the market – a single-varietal merlot wine, a wine that has all the prerequisites to become a local legend – Merlot 2017 by Equinox. This wine is made from merlot grapes, that were sourced from the Olanesti vineyard in the famous Stefan-Voda wine growing area. It has been aged in big, 500-liters oak barrels, in close contact with caucasian and american oakwood. Merlot is usually regarded as the underdog to the highly priced cabernet sauvignon, but make no mistake here, merlot wine is first class – quite versatile, ripens earlier than cabernet sauvignon, responds well to oak ageing and can be grown in both, cool and warm climate. That said, without further ado, let’s take a look at the wine tasting sheet!

Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:


Deep, but not opaque, ruby color with ripe pomegranate shades towards the rim of the glass.


The nose is strong, filled mostly with ripe red and black fruit flavours: candied sour cherry, red plum, black plum, redcurrant, blackcurrant, cranberry, blackberry, aronia berry, overripe sour cherry and cherry tree wood. An instant later the nose is filled with elegant notes of lightly roasted oakwood, red pepper, dried cherry, dried cranberry, nutmeg, cloves, sweet tobacco, vanilla and some subtle hints of leather and smoke.


The wine is extra-dry, with high alcohol level, high acidity and fine-grained tannins. It feels very fruity, ripe and supple, with an opulent-plumpy mouthfeel and a quite grippy, seedy-crisp accent. This is an elegant, velvety and well structured merlot wine – round, tannic and expressive, with a fine-grained tannic grip on the palate. The wine has a good overall balance between primary fruit and oak-infused flavours, and it might lack maybe just a bit of character – an outstanding merlot wine overall.


The wine has a long finish and an elegant, crisp and seedy aftertaste.

96x96This is definitely an excellent wine of Moldova and, with a total of 92.5 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 one of the finest merlot wines produced in Moldova so far, with a very clear-cut varietal profiling: fruit-forward, plumpy and opulent, with an expressive, fine-tannic grip on the mouthfeel, supported by crisp acidity and a touch of alcoholic warmth showing through. This is a wine that is still developing in the bottle, one that can definitely age for another year or two, yet we are strongly advocating to drink it today and enjoy it at its finest. In order to elevate its elegance, we would suggest to pair this wine with fat-rich meaty dishes with smooth textures, like for example an extra-rare filet mignon steak or tournedos rossini with foie gras, so that all the fruitiness in the wine will be perfectly complemented by the delicate umami flavours of the beef. Enjoy!

WineStatistics tasting results:

Merlot | 2017

grape: | merlot |

region: Moldova | Stefan-Voda

overall rating: | 92.5 |

maturity: on the rise

conclusion: excellent | (a must try)



© 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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