This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Central & Eastern European Red over £15 went to Janko, Zavet Stari, Šumadija-Great Morava, Serbia 2011 (14.3%)

Tasted against:

  • DiVes, Merlot Barrique Special Selection, Thracian Lowland, Southern Region, Bulgaria 2012


Janko is a youngster in wine terms, with its first vintage only in 2006, and the first commercial vintage one year later. It has no impressive back-story and no picturesque, historic cellars (most of the work is done in a building akin to a large garage), but it considers its youth one of its strengths. A new winery nearing completion will quadruple production to 100,000 bottles a year.

Janko is owned by the Vasic family, who always hoped to one day own a winery as their predecessors did in communist-era Yugoslavia. Winemaking duties fall to 30-year-old Mladen Dragojlovic, who has gained experience around the world including in Chile and Italy.

Along with the owners, Dragojlovic’s wish is to, through his wines, showcase the purity of the grapes used, the diverse Serbian terroirs and a real expression of the vintage. He achieves this with minimal intervention in the cellar.

In the vineyards – which enjoy good drainage and ventilation – you’ll find a mix of international and indigenous grapes planted. This Trophy-winner is Janko’s top cuvée – a classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc, using only the best barrels of each. Production is just 2,000 bottles a year.

Written by Decanter