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White Label Alb de Oniţcani Classic - 2022


3.60 / 5.0

white still, dry
Valul lui Traian, Moldova
Alb de Oniţcani
140 MDL, 280 UAH
not available
Novak White Label Alb de Oniţcani Classic 2022

⚠️ Much of the narrative presented here is derived from insights shared by Dmitry Grachov, based on his conversations with Andrei Novak.

The 2022 Alb de Oniţcani from Novak Winery brings a piece of Moldova's viticultural history to the glass. The grape, Alb de Oniţcani, is a product of dedicated research carried out by the Chișinău Agrarian Institute and Moldovan Wine Research Institute "Vierul" back in the 1960s. Behind its complex name and origin, led by researchers D. Verderevschi, C. Voitovici, I. Naidenova, and a team of co-authors, this grape stands out for its robustness. With strong resistance to cold, mold, rot, and mildew, Alb de Oniţcani is engineered for resilience.

Its unique characteristic of late ripening and inherent high acidity made it a predominant choice for bulk wine production, especially when grown in the colder Codru region. However, Andrei Novak saw potential beyond the bulk. Riding on the subtle advantages of climate change and leveraging the grape's characteristics, in 2016, Novak produced the market's first single-varietal Alb de Oniţcani wine. This distinct offering traces its roots to vines planted between 2008 and 2009 in the village of Tartaul, located in the warm Valul lui Traian zone in Southern Moldova.

The winemaking process itself is both traditional and rigorous: grapes are harvested, sulfited, and the must is left in contact with the grape skins for 5 hours at a temperature of 14-15°C. Bentonite is used to clarify the must, followed by fermentation at 18-20°C over a period of 7-9 days. The wine is then treated with cold to prevent any malolactic fermentation, which is particularly crucial for the Villard trait that tends to cloud the wine.


3.60 / 5.0750 ml@Minibar · Vinul Moldovei by Dimitry Grachov Vol. 1

Straightforward and unpretentious, like that no-nonsense friend who gets to the point. Right off the bat, it tosses out notes of yellow apple, apple seeds, and salted nuts, like a sparse yet articulate conversation.

The narrative takes a softer turn with white flowers making a brief appearance, escorted by a subtle notes of zest and sunflowers. The acidity is there, sharp as a tack, but the body is thin, almost elusive. The aftertaste dips out early.

Comparatively, it’s a more enjoyable narrative than the Floricica, with a lower alcohol content. Yet, it lacks the character and confidence.

Wine #3 on Vinul Moldovei by Dimitry Grachov Vol. 1 event.


Novak Winery, situated in the Cantemir district of the Republic of Moldova, melds tradition with modern innovation, embodying a fresh vision of time-honored winemaking practices. Established on the foundation of an old enterprise from 1977, the winery was officially founded in 2004 and has since gained prominence in the southern region of the country.

Spanning over 30 hectares in IGP Valul lui Traian, the Novak vineyards can be found across Comrat, Tartaul, and Ciobalaccia villages. These vineyards are home to both classic and indigenous grape varieties. Alongside international favorites like Merlot, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Malbec, they also cultivate traditional local varieties such as Rară Neagră and Feteasca Regală. Notably, the winery has championed the revival of certain nearly forgotten varieties, including Alb de Onițcani and Floricica, which some experts believed were lost in history.