NOVAK | 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 single-varietal merlot wine from the Valul lui Traian wine region – Merlot 2017 by Novak Winery. The wine has been aged for 6 months in french oak and is part of the winemaker’s flagship Black Label line, made of wines that are produced from international grape varieties with extensive barrel fermentation. Merlot is usually regarded as the underdog to the highly priced cabernet sauvignon, but make no mistake here, merlot wine is first class – it is 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 results!
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:


Medium intensity, but not opaque, ruby color with hazy garnet shades towards the rim of the glass.


The nose is strong, filled mostly with overripe red fruit flavours: redcurrant, red plum, red soil dust, sour cherry, nutmeg, cranberry, clay, red pepper, jostaberry, forest floor, red bell pepper, cherry tree wood and some subtle hints of decaying violets.


The wine is medium-dry, with high alcohol level, high acidity and ripe, fine-grained tannin. It feels round, supple and opulent, with a fruity-seedy accent. This is a quite crisp, wide and grippy merlot wine, as it tastes earthy, overripe and bitter-seedy, with a touch of alcoholic warmth and overwhelming acidity on the mouthfeel. Overall, the wine has a fair balance between primary fruit and oak-infused flavours – this is a wine that maybe lacks just a bit of structure and character on the palate, otherwise a fine wine.


The wine has a long finish and a quite pleasing, crisp and seedy aftertaste.

96x96This is definitely a fine wine of Moldova and, with a total of 91.0 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 fine example of a merlot wine that is still on the rise – fruity, opulent and round – a wine that requires a couple more years of bottle ageing. Aged for 6 months in french oak barrels and produced in a limited edition of only 5900 bottles, what this wine definitely lacks, is some additional structure and character on the palate. We would suggest to pair this wine with very-rare meaty dishes, like for example a very-rare filet mignon steak or some duck breasts with red wine sauce, so that all those fruity-earthy flavours in the wine will be complemented by the natural umami notes of the dish. Cheers!

WineStatistics tasting results:

Merlot | 2017

grape: | merlot |

region: Moldova | Valul lui Traian

overall rating: | 91.0 |

maturity: on the rise

conclusion: fine | (highly 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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