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JAMIE GOODE: SERBIAN WINE STORY IS YET TO BE HEARD!

Posted by Administrator (admin) on Jun 07 2014
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Wine critic and journalist Jamie Goode is a columnist for the London paper The Sunday Express; the author of several best-selling books about wines (including the brand new edition of Wine Science) and his blog wineanorak.com is one of the most influential wine blogs in the English-speaking world. His opinion is held in high regard by millions of wine lovers all over the world. In November 2013 he was invited on behalf of the wine magazine vino.rs to be a juror on a two-day competition of the best wines in Serbia.

 What impressions will you take from Serbia?

Jamie Goode: My first impression was that all wines are of high quality. Specifically, I expected that there would be a big gap between really good wines and the rest, but surprisingly they were all at a rather similar level.  Only a few wines varied significantly. This was great for the jury, because we were able to enjoy excellent wines; on the other hand, it was hard to decide which were the best among them.

Due to the number of points awarded at the first day, some favorites emerged. What was your overall impression of the wines on the decision day?

Being able to taste the best thirty wines from Serbia was very exciting. It was immediately clear that these are high quality wines and it was especially interesting to compare them all at once. In particular, among the red wines we had four premium-quality wines and it was quite difficult to choose only one winner. Honestly, my favorite was the Prokupac 2011 by Ivanović, an indigenous variety and a truly great wine. There is no doubt that the winning wine Kremen Kamen 2011 by Matalj is a fantastic wine, as were all four reds which fought for the Grand Prix to the bitter end (besides the two mentioned there were Ergo 2011 by Temet and Cabernet Franc 2011 by Radovanović ).

Some members of the jury were not particularly fond of Serbian white wines?

The white wines are also good, especially Triumph Barrique 2012 from Aleksandrović; Terasa Chardonnay 2012 from Matalj and Sila 2012 by Milanovic .

What message do you have for the region's wineries?

Above all, they should insist on the original character of the wines, so that they reflect the Serbian terroir. Great quality wines differ due to the winemakers’ talent to make different wines from the same grape in accordance with their own traditions, but also to identify and leverage local varieties in this process. This is the key for a region or a country to be recognized on a wine map.

In this sense, what is the potential of the Balkans as a wine region?

Serbia and the whole region of the Balkans come striding onto the world stage. The moment is good because the market always needs new challenges and wines from the Balkans have made a big leap in quality, not only in Serbia but also in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Croatia.
I think that the Balkans should create a common brand, something like Balkan wine. Countries like Portugal have managed that and they sell a lot of wine. Now, the focus is more on the ‘old wine’ from Lebanon, Turkey, Georgia. This trend could be a special opportunity for Serbia.

“Today I have tasted dozens of exceptional wines, masterfully made and with a specific character. Among them are some red wines that can certainly stand as equals with the best wines in the world.”

— Jamie Goode

What chances do Serbian wines have to become internationally proclaimed? Are there big differences in quality?

Maybe not as great as they think, but Serbian wines are not yet in focus worldwide. To this end, the further increase in wine quality must continue. French wines are perhaps the symbol of quality for some people, but France is also the place with a vast number of bad wines. 5-6 years ago there were probably no more than a dozen good wines among 150 best Serbian wines. Today I have tasted dozens of exceptional wines, masterfully made and with a specific character. Among them are some red wines that can certainly stand as equals with the best wines in the world.
 
Thank you! 

The interview was conducted by Nenad Basarić and has originally appeared in the wine magazine vino.rs in Serbian language. We thank you for permission to reprint. 

Last changed: Jun 07 2014 at 7:45 PM

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