Barberry Garden

A wine corner in a crazy world


5 Elemente Negru - 2019


3.9 / 5.0

Moldova » Ștefan Vodă
red still, dry
Rară Neagră, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carménère, Malbec
380 MDL, 760 UAH
not available
Equinox 5 Elemente Negru 2019

The wine is a distinctive blend composed of five red grape varieties (hence the name) cultivated at the Equinox Estate, situated near Olănești village. This blend has undergone a maturation process of 28 months within oak barrels.

In terms of composition, the blend consists of the following:

  • Rara Neagră: 45%
  • Cabernet Sauvignon: 25%
  • Merlot: 12%
  • Carmenere: 10%
  • Malbec: 8%

Only 2,500 bottles produced.


3.9 / 5.0750 ml@Norton

Even though it's not precisely in line with my preferred style, I found this "Mordeaux" quite enjoyable. Packed with red fruits, chocolate, vanilla, and black pepper, and enhanced by subtle notes of black tea, its profile is engaging and accessible. The wine boasts good acidity and tannins, presenting a balance that's commendable. While it doesn't delve into excessive complexity, its friendly and straightforward nature makes it easy to appreciate.

3.9 / 5.0750 ml@Minibar · Vinul Moldovei by Dimitry Grachov Vol. 1

A whiff brings forth a beautiful bouquet typical of a good Moldova wine, rounded and well-crafted, throwing red fruits, violets, chocolate, vanilla, and a hint of dark baked bread into the air, with a spicy undertone of black pepper and a soothing note of black tea. On the palate, it offers good acidity and tannin. The medium-plus body is youthful yet poised, flaunting a velvety texture that's easy to get along with. The aftertaste is long. 5 Elemente is not here to puzzle or perplex; it has a straightforward, well-dressed charm that makes a solid impression without the complex banter.

Wine #6 on Vinul Moldovei by Dimitry Grachov Vol. 1 event.


Equinox is a winery that derives its wines from a 5-hectare vineyard situated near the Olănești village, an area affectionately referred to as Luchineasa by the locals. This vineyard beautifully perches on hills that overlook the Nistru valley. The unique position of the vineyard affords it a specific microclimate and an array of diverse soils. Despite the limited size of the vineyard, it showcases a considerable range of environmental conditions, making it prime land for grape cultivation.

With a strong emphasis on organic farming, Equinox is steadfast in its belief that such methods best allow wines to exhibit their terroir. This commitment to organic cultivation began in earnest in 2006, with the 2013 vintage being their first certified organic batch. It's noteworthy that Equinox stands out as the sole wine producer to receive organic certification from both local and European eco-certification authorities.

The vineyard boasts a diverse portfolio of grape varieties. Red varietals, which occupy 87% of the vineyard, include the indigenous Rară Neagră and Feteasca Neagră, complemented by international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot, Malbec, and Saperavi. The vineyard also nurtures white varieties like Fetească Albă, Fetească Regală, and Chardonnay, and there are select vines of Băbească Gri and Pinot Gris interspersed.

Tracing back the vineyard's history, the initial plot was designated for Cabernet Sauvignon in 2002. This was soon followed in 2003 with the addition of Shiraz, Malbec, and Merlot. Recognizing the challenges in sourcing indigenous varietals, Equinox took the initiative to commence their own selection and grafting process, particularly focusing on Rară Neagră from older vineyards around the Olănești vicinity. By 2005, the first plot dedicated to Rară Neagră was established using their select vines. With time, as more indigenous varieties became accessible in the market, there was an expansion in the areas dedicated to these varietals.

Equinox’s journey from vine to wine is a testament to their meticulous efforts. The first fruit was harvested in 2004, and by 2006, the first wine under the Equinox label was unveiled. This inaugural release consisted of a limited 800 bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon from their maiden parcel.

The emphasis at Equinox is not just on wine production but on cultivating quality right from the vineyard. Their approach includes detailed vineyard management, from regulating leaf area and optimizing the load of each stump relative to the leaf area, to controlling the vigor of the stumps. All these efforts culminate in producing around 8,000 select bottles annually. While the domestic market in the Republic of Moldova remains their primary sales avenue, Equinox wines have also made their mark in international markets, including Romania, Germany, and the USA.