Schlagwort-Archive: Serbia

Serbian Wines Part 3 : 2011 Alma Mons, BeloBrdo

The unfortunately last but not least wine from   Samovino :

2011 Alma Mons, Winery Belo Brdo, Subregion Fruška Gora, Region Srem

This is a quite interesting blend of french varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and the new cross Marselan (Cabernet Sauvignon x Grenache Noir) which I have seen in some easy drinking reds from the Ardèche. Not a grape variety that I would have placed into the illustrious round of Bordeaux reds.

The owner, Aleksandar Zeremsk made his money importing wines to Serbia and planted his first grapes in 2006. The first wine made was from the 2010 vintage. The winery Belo Brdo translates as white hill, Alma Mons as nourishing hill. Maybe Alba Mons would have been better.

 

Poured into the glass: ripe black and blueberries. Cassis, plum followed by strawberry and grain yoghurt, milk chocolate, vanilla.

A good balance between body, tannins and acidity. Everything is up front but none is dominating the others. Plum fruit leather aftertaste.

Second day: Blackberry, plum and cherry constantly changing places. Oaky vanilla stronger than on day one.

Third day: Plum, Pepper. On the palate plum and strong cherry.

Fifth day: Watermelon, cassis, vanilla, blackberry. Still strong tannins. Tobacco and plum aftertaste.

This is already a brilliant wine but in the years to come one can expect even more due to aged vines.

Serbian Wines Part 2 : 2012 Experiment Prokupac, Podrum Cokot

Besides the all international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay Serbia has it’s own autochtonous grapes to be discovered.

Typical Balkan-Grapes:

Graševina (Welschriesling, Laski Riesling): White wine grape that is grown in Italy and Austria as well. Quite productive that can lead to boring wines. If treated well floral-fruity whites with nice acidity.

Kadarka: Red wine grape with soft tannins and lighter colour. Sometimes compared to Pinot Noir.

Plovdina (Pamid): Light, thin reds with low acidity.

Smederevka (Dimyat): Fresh whites with occasional vanilla flavour.

Vranac: Dark, full-bodied red wines with loads of tannins and maturing potential.

Autochtonous Grapes:

Bagrina: Pink coloured grapes from the Timok area. Not self pollinating so has to be planted beside other grape varieties. Good acidity and maturing potential.

Kreaca: Also known as Banat Riesling. Compared to the Real Riesling the wines lack acidity and have to be drunk early.

– Prokupac: Early drinking reds with high alcohol. Dark with red fruit.

Slankamenka: Ancient grape variety with low sugar, acidity and flavour. More often used for brandy.

Tamjanika: White Muscat that has been grown in Serbia for 500 years and through natural selection adapted perfectly to the climate and terroir. There exists a rare dark mutation.

Začinak: Highly coloured red wine grape often used in blends to give more colour to the wine.

New Varieties:

Bačka: Pink Hybrid: Petra x Bianca

Morava: White grape: Frühroter Veltliner x Müller-Thurgau. Similar to Sauvignon Blanc regarding fruit and acidity. Up and coming.

Neoplanta: White Grape: Smederavka x Savagnin Rosé. Strong Muscat-flavour, high sugars low acidity.

Panonia: Similar to Morava with same parents: Frühroter Veltliner x Müller-Thurgau

Petra: Hybrid: Kunbarat x Pinot Noir. High sugar content, Muscat aroma.

Probus: Productive red from Kadarka x Cabernet Sauvignon.

Rubinka: Pink Hybrid: Petra x Bianca.

Sila: White:  Kövidinka x Chardonnay. Light, refreshing wines.

Sirmium: Disease prone white from Sauvignon Blanc x Smederevka.

Župljanka: White grape from red parents: Prokupac x Pinot Noir. Balanced, fresh wines with high malice acid content in the must.

After all the theory finally the second wine from Samovino.

2012 Prokupac Experiment, Winery Čokot, Region Župa

The Prokupac is one of Serbia’s own grape varieties. Radovan Čokot is making wines officially since 2011. Before wines were made just fro personal consumption and the family. Besides Prokupac he has Tamjanika grapes. All his wines are called Experiment because he sees himself as student in the field of winemaking, so every year is a new experiment.

In the nose: Black and red currants, cocoa, boiled beef, light plum.

The first sip is soft with light tannins and pleasing acidity. Easy drinking with cassis and plum aftertaste.

With time the aroma changes to to violets, cocoa, plums with light blackberry supplanting the cassis.

Second day:

Nicely spiced stewed red plums with fresh plum mixed in and sprinkled with cocoa. Due to the high acidity the plum is very present on the palate as well. Plums with a high skin ratio.

All in all a fruity, soft, easy drinking red for every day. Good to drink now but perhaps can wait a year to two as well. Still enough acidity and tannins for that.

Serbian Wines Part 1: 2011 Sofia Tamjanika – Braca Rajković

As a frequent user of the Vivino-App, a wine scanner for smart phones I have come upon a fairly unknown wine producing country, Serbia. Using the App one can earn badges for scanning different wines, in this case a badge for scanning a wine from Serbia. Searching the internet did not really show any interesting wines, the neighboring countries Croatia and Slovenia are much easier to get wines from here in Germany. But for these, there are no badges with Vivino…

Serbia has quite a long history concerning wine, a history that has directly influenced the wine regions of Europe. The Roman emperor Probus was born in the Serbian of Sremska Mitrovica. He cancelled the edict Domitian’s edict which forbid any planting of vines north of the alps. That would have meant, no Champagne, no Burgundy, no German wines at all.
Up to the Ottoman occupation wine making was flourishing in Serbia. The eventual freedom freed the wine makers as well, so wines could be produced. The next enemy of Serbian wines was a little insect, the Phylloxera. It had a mixed influence though. The northern region of Subotica-Horgos, near the Hungarian border was protected against Phylloxera by way of sandy soils. A lot of wines could be exported from here to compensate for other wine regions in Europe, where no wine could be produced anymore. In the other regions of Serbia Phylloxera was a problem that could only be solved by grafting onto american vine roots, which took some time to be discovered.
During the Communist era, quantity was looked for rather than quality. Only now with talks of Serbia joining the european market this trend has changed, a new wine law has been introduced, similar to ones from the EC setting a focus on quality and its control.

Serbia as a wine producing country has a unique climate. Temperate to warm temperate, sub humid to wet with very cool nights. A blend of Baden’s cool nights and precipitation combined with the sun of Tuscany would be a good description. Which suits red wine, only the heavy rains distract a bit. But usually there are strong winds from the Adriatic Sea, keeping the vines healthy. But strict yield control has to be enforced.

The most important wine growing regions from north to south:

Subotica-Horgos:

Sandy soil, around the Palić Lake near the Hungarian border. Serbia’s coolest region although the lake acts as a warmth accumulator, thus ensuring a less harsh contrast of day and night temperatures.

Banat:
South of the Carpathians there is still a German influence to be found. More white wines are made here than reds, which from a climate point of view does not make sense, but maybe this will change.

Srem:
This fertile plain bordering Croatia is mostly influenced by the Fruška Gora mountain. Its here on the southern side that most of the regions vines are grown. Due to the southern exposure and the heart retaining properties of the mountain soil the warmth does not drop too low during nights, similar to the Banat region and the influence from the Carpathians. Here as well more whites are made.

Sumadija – Great Morava:
Penned in between the rivers of Danube and Morava, this is one of Serbia’s cooler regions. Cool is relative, Cabernet Sauvignon can easily ripen here.

Western Morava:
The hilly region around the western Morava is seen as the cradle of Serbian wine. There is a problem of high rainfall.

Timok:
This small region has a high contrast of temperature between summer and winter but also between day and night. Even sun loving grape varieties like Mourvèdre and Carignan could ripen here if it were not for the frequent winter frosts.

Nisava – South Morava:
One of Serbia’s warmer regions but not as extreme as Timok.

Then there is the small region of Pocerina around the Cer mountain and depending on your political point of view the region of Kosovo.

And now for the wines:

I found them on the homepage of Samovino, a young start-up looking for capital through crowd-funding. Their goal is to introduce Serbian wines to Germany. To achieve this they toured Serbia two times and tasted 200 wines from 40 winemakers. Lukas Ertl, one of the founders was nice enough to send me three of their wines, that they wanted to include in their final selection.

Sofia Tamjanika Braca Rajkovic 2011

2011 Sofia Tamjanika, Winery Braca Rajković, Region Župa, Subregion of Western Morava

The Tamjanika grape is identical with Muscat blanc á petits grains. But it has been grown here for 500 years so that through natural selection the vines have perfectly adapted to the climate and terroir.
The Rajković family has been growing grapes since the 18th century. They grow mostly red wine grapes, being famous for introducing Serbia’s first Pinot Noir in 1962.
2011 is not a really young vintage for a Muscat, but lets see:

Straight out of the fridge:
Strong, ripe melon followed by elder flower, ripe apricot, acacia honey and grapefruit.
Full, soft acidity which comes from behind together with a accentuated bitter. Grapefruit and elderflower aftertaste.
This Tamjanika reminds me of a fully ripe Muscat that has some Viognier grapes thrown into the press. No sign of oxidation, great fruit. Drink rather cool to give freshness to the wine, the fruit can handle it.

My first Serbian wine was a nice surprise.

The Vivino-App needs to do better tough. Scanning all three pictured wines did not get me  a single badge!