- white still, dry
- Valul lui Traian, Moldova
- 140 MDL, 280 UAH
- not available
⚠️ Much of the narrative presented here is derived from insights shared by Dmitry Grachov, based on his conversations with Andrei Novak.
In 1968, a grape variety was conceived through the crossing of Riesling from the Rhine and Villard Blanc from France. Although frost-hardy and early-ripening, this particular variety found limited terrain in France, spanning only 150 hectares. Interestingly, its growth flourished in regions like England and Canada. By 2006, it was officially recognized in the Moldovan wine registry.
The Riesling parentage endows the variety with pronounced sugar accumulation and a captivating aromatic profile. In contrast, Villard contributes to its resilience against stress. While the variety once witnessed a decline – even facing hybrid prohibitions that limited its footprint to the aforementioned 150 hectares in France – it’s witnessing a resurgence in interest.
The Novak vineyard, situated in the sun-soaked Valul lui Traian zone known for its rich chernozem soil and an annual temperature sum of 35°C, has embraced this variety. Spanning 1.6 hectares, the vines were planted in 2018/2019. This accounts for a significant portion, as only 15-20 hectares exist in Moldova in total. By 2023, Novak intends to plant an additional 5 hectares.
To preserve optimal sugar levels, the grape harvesting process is meticulously carried out in three stages. This approach extends to all the white grapes harvested at this vineyard.
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.
3.70 / 5.0·750 ml·@Minibar · Vinul Moldovei by Dimitry Grachov Vol. 1
The aromatics march in with a herbaceous banner, flaunting a bold grapefruit emblem. It's got that Marlborough Sun touch but with a Moldovan twist. The tropical medley of fennel, passionfruit, and a grassy note plays well, with a summer field throwing in a floral cheer from the sidelines. The palate is fresh and oily with flavours of peach and green apricots. Despite its weight, it must be perfect while chilling on the shores of the Nistru river. Not complex, not my cup of tea, but I find some charm in it nevertheless.
Wine #2 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.