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Wine Vision by Open Balkan: Showcasing the quality of Serbia, North Macedonia & Albania

The second edition of Wine Vision by Open Balkan took place in Belgrade, Serbia from 16 to 19 November for wine professionals and consumers to experience the passion and quality wines of exhibiting producers.

Returning to Belgrade, Serbia for its second year, Wine Vision by Open Balkan has quickly solidified its standing as the fourth largest wine fair in Europe.

The four-day event opened its doors on 16th November showcasing more than 570 exhibitors from 30 countries all eager to share their wines with trade and consumers alike.

It’s message for 2023: ‘We have excellent wines and it’s time to get to know them!’

Located in Hall 1, Decanter’s stand showcased some of the best rated wines from Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania from DWWA 2023.

A fair to explore the unexplored, the wines of Serbia, North Macedonia and Albania took centre stage, with producers embracing tradition, indigenous varieties and authentic expressions of international varieties.


Scroll down to see the DWWA 2023 awarded wines showcased


Deeply rooted in tradition, the Balkan’s authentic grape varieties have been embraced and revived by producers of late, with importance placed on white Grašac and red Bagrina, Prokupac and Probus in Serbia, white Tamjanika and Smederevka and red Vranac and Stanušina in North Macedonia and Kallmet, Shesh i Zi, Shesh i Bardhe and Pulles in Albania.

Over 25 DWWA 2023 winning wines were presented, including Serbia’s first Best in Show medal winner.

Ahead of the fair, Decanter released its October 2023 issue with a special Balkans supplement in cooperation with Wine Vision by Open Balkan – an in depth guide to the wines, regions and styles, ultimately highlighting the wealth and quality waiting to be discovered. Distributed at the fair, Decanter also showcased more than 25 DWWA medal-winning wines from the hosting countries.

A momentous year for Serbia at DWWA 2023, Vinarija Vinčić’s Grašac 2020 received Serbia’s first-ever spot in the competition’s Top 50 Best in Show list, brining wines from Fruška Gora to the attention of trade and consumers globally.

Six Gold-awarded wines were also sampled at the fair, including one of North Macedonia’s two wines awarded in this category for Tikves Winery’s Luda Mara Vranec 2020 from Tikvesh, Povardarje.

All 90-plus points, the event drew the attention of trade and consumers from near and far, looking to discover the quality wines of these regions as rated by the experts behind DWWA, including joint regional chairs Caroline Gilby MW and Simon Woolf.

DWWA judges at the Decanter stand. From left to right: Zsuzsa-Toronyi, Caroline Gilby MW, Robert Gorjak.

A powerful joining of forces between Serbia, North Macedonia, Albania and beyond, attendees of Wine Vision by Open Balkan included the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, the President of Montenegro, Jakov Milatović, the Prime Minister of the Republic of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovačevski, and the President of Italy’s Veneto, Luka Zaja, alongside more than 30,000 visitors.

Encouraged by the excitement and engagement by trade and consumers, the fair is set to return for its third edition in 2024.

Discover below the full list of DWWA-awarded wines showcased at the fair, well worth seeking out, with more to explore at awards.decanter.com

DWWA 2023 awarded wines showcased at Wine Vision by Open Balkan

Serbia

Vinarija Vinčić, Grašac, Fruška Gora, Srem 2020

Best in Show 97
We’ve grown used to seeing Graševina (whose many synonyms include Laški Riesling, Welschriesling and Riesling Italico, though the variety has no genetic link to Riesling itself) from Croatia in our competition in recent years, but this year the Graševina which emerged as our judges’ favourite comes from Serbia, where the variety’s name is Grašac. It’s clearly happy in the Danubian hills of Fruška Gora, giving ample varietal character without ever descending into caricature. This carefully crafted version is pale silver-gold in colour, with scents in which the characteristic soft gassiness of the variety is held well in check, to the benefit of honeyed grape and pear. On the palate, you’ll find it pure, long, refined, faintly smoky-savoury, textured and tapered: a fine-dining, white-tablecloth version of this demotic charmer. Alc 13%

Bt Winery, Mister Marselan, Fruška Gora, Srem 2021

Gold 95
This wine boasts a rich hue and intense flavour profile of dark fruits, vanilla, and sweet spices. The palate is well-rounded and refreshing, with a long, spicy finish. A standout bargain. Alc 14.5%

Erdevik, Stifler’s Mom Shiraz, Fruška Gora, Srem 2017

Gold 95
Blackcurrant and peppery aromas. Its taste is smooth with hints of chocolate, leather, coffee, spice, vanilla, and toast. The wine’s acidity is zippy and it has a long, toasty finish. Huge but undeniably expertly crafted. Alc 15.5%

Vinarija Jovac, Stella Noir, Centralna Srbija 2020

Gold 95
This is an engaging wine with a lot going on. It has an oaky imprint, lovely notes of sweet spice, red berries, spice and a bright beam of acidity. Finishes lengthily, too. Alc 14.5%

Matijašević Vinogradi, Sovinoa Fumé Blanc, Oplenac, Šumadija-Great Morava 2021

Gold 95
Enticing peach, gooseberry, grapefruit, citrus and oaky aromatics. The palate is complex with notes of stone fruit and lemongrass set against a briney streak of minerality. Persistent finish, too. Be ready to swoon! Alc 14%

Matijašević Vinogradi, Tri Doline, Oplenac, Šumadija-Great Morava 2020

Gold 95
Stunning wine with a captivating aroma of oak. On the palate, the oak is perfectly balanced, accompanied by dry tannins and flavours of ripe plum, cacao, and a subtle hint of green spice. Long finish. Bravo! Alc 15%

Temet, Beli Kamen Merlot, Jagodina, Šumadija-Great Morava 2019

Silver 94
A powerful, dense and youthful wine with fine-grained tannins, lots of ripe dark fruits, elevated alcohol and a long, complex finish. Good ageing potential. Alc 15%

Temet, Ergo, Jagodina, Šumadija-Great Morava 2018

Silver 94
Intense and soft with lots of black fruit, a smooth palate and concentrated fruit core and a lot of oak. Fine-grained tannins with a long finish. Alc 15%

Vinarija Deuric, Severna Morava, Fruška Gora, Srem 2021

Silver 93
Nectarine, Meyer lemon and herbal nose. The palate is juicy with plenty of peach, melon and lemongrass characters. Long finish. Good drinking. Alc 13.5%

Podrum Cokot, Radovan 100% Prokupac, Centralna Srbija 2020

Silver 91
Lovely, well-defined cherry fruit on the nose and palate. Opens up further with oxygen and reveals dark forest fruit, earth and the characteristic spicy finish. Good length. Alc 14%

Vinarija Zvonko Bogdan, Cuvée No.1, Subotica-Horgoš 2021

Silver 91
Ripe black cherry and oaky nose. The palate is warm, full-bodied and intense with fresh acidity and lots of oak. A lovely wine for food. Alc 14.5%

Vinarija Verkat, Barrique Malvazija, Fruška Gora, Srem 2021

Silver 91
Well-made wine with a floral, stone fruit and sweet oak nose. The palate is juicy and structured with a medium, stone fruit finish. Alc 13.5%

Matijašević Vinogradi, Belina, Oplenac, Šumadija-Great Morava 2021

Silver 90
Restrained citrus nose. The palate is quite weighty and fresh with notes of green apple, lime and stone fruit. Fine length. Alc 12%

Vinarija Drašković, Beli Pinot, South Banat, Banat 2020

Silver 90
Intense pear, peach, lemon, vanilla and white pepper nose. The palate is rounded with a nice structure; finishes lengthily, too. Alc 13%

Vinarija Fragaria, Fragaria Selekcija Kruševac, West Morava 2019

Silver 90
Intense vanilla, spice and black fruit aromatics. The palate is dry and full-bodied. Long, liquorice finish. Alc 15%

Temet, Tri Morave Reserve, Jagodina, Šumadija-Great Morava 2019

Silver 90
Orange peel, tropical fruit and floral nose and palate with drying tannins and a long finish. Alc 12.5%

North Macedonia

Tikves Winery, Luda Mara Vranec, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2020

Gold 95
This is a charming, well-made, fruit-forward Vranac with ripe blackberry and prune aromatics, nicely-integrated oak, ripe, polished tannins and high acidity. It concludes with a super long, expensive finish. Alc 15%

Kamnik, Cuvée De Prestige, Skopje, Povardarje 2020

Silver 94
Black cherry, spice, raspberry leaf, coffee, vanilla and oaky aromas. A structured, international style with layers of complexity, well-integrated oak and dense black fruit flavours. Alc 14.8%

Popov Winery, Carmenere Reserve, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2018

Silver 93
Pretty nose with varietal bramble, black fruit and grilled red pepper aromas. Ripe and full-bodied with well-judged oak. Well done. Alc 14%

Tikveš Winery, Barovo, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2021

Silver 92
A beautiful wine with well-defined red and dark fruits, classy oak, high acidity and ripe tannins. Huge potential. Alc 15%

Tikves Winery, Bela Voda Red, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2021

Silver 92
A modern take on this blend with a dried cherry and damson bouquet. The palate has lots of vanilla, clove and sweet wood. Very polished. Alc 15%

Tikves, Bela Voda White, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2022

Silver 91
Youthful but quite classy floral and stone fruit nose and palate. An interesting blend with a spicy finish. Alc 14%

Tikves Winery, Alexandria Cuvée Red, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2021

Silver 90
Black cherry and leather aromas. The palate has notes of summer berries and a hint of ripe raspberry. A high-quality, charming wine with a long finish. Alc 14.5%

Tikves Winery, Babuna White, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2022

Silver 90
Spiced yellow plum, pear and floral nose. The palate is oaky and layered with flowers and oak. Medium, slightly warm, finish. Alc 14%

Domaine Lepovo, Chardonnay, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2021

Silver 90
Pronounced oaky and orchard fruit nose. The palate is full-bodied with well-defined notes of buttered toast. Long finish. Alc 14%

Lepovo, Grand Cuvée, Tikvesh, Povardarje 2019

Silver 90
Deeply concentrated black cherry aromas with prunes and a hint of leather. The palate explodes with tobacco and summer fruit. Alc 15.5%

Albania

Mrizi I Zanave, Kuven, Western lowland 2021

Silver 90
A simple, well-made wine with ripe red fruit aromas and flavours, lively acidity and a long finish. Alc 13.5%


Search all DWWA 2023 award-winning wines


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