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Savour Serbia: 15 exciting wines to seek out

Sponsored Guide

The range of styles produced across Serbia’s regions is broad and fascinating, thanks to its array of terroirs and grape varieties. Here, expert Caroline Gilby MW selects 15 of the best wines being produced in the country today,

This article is part of a sponsored Decanter guide produced in cooperation with the National Tourism Organization of Serbia, Association of Winemakers and Winegrowers of Serbia and Vino & Fino magazine.

Serbia has an incredible diversity of wines to offer, whether from international varieties or local grapes unknown outside the country.

Not too many are easily available yet in export markets, so you will have to hunt them down in specialist importers or go and visit the country.

Specialist importers in the UK include:

  • Forest Wines
  • Hop Burns & Black
  • Humble Grape
  • It’s Alive
  • Niko in Preston
  • Roland Wines.

A showcase of Serbia’s wines

This selection of 15 recommended wines aims to showcase what Serbia does best – with some already having won awards and some being personal favourites.

It may be fashionable to dismiss international varieties, but they have an important place in a less well-known wine country such as Serbia.

Everyone knows what to expect of a good Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Sauvignon Blanc for instance, so if Serbia does them well – and it does – then it’s a clear marker for how good Serbian terroir is, and how high the standard of winemaking is today.

And bear in mind that these aren’t new upstarts, but have been present in the country for more than a century. On the other hand, local grapes have an incredible connection to the place and in some cases are totally unique.

Some, especially the widely planted Grašac and the ‘being-reinvented’ Prokupac, have somewhat difficult pasts in which ‘volume, never mind the quality’ was what they were then all about.

However, with low yields and the right care in vineyards and wineries, these varieties are showing themselves to have a bright future. This is an unusually high-scoring tasting – but don’t forget these are the very best of the best wines that Serbia has to offer.

Fifteen exciting wines from Serbia to seek out

Sparkling, white and orange wines

serbia wines to try

Aleksić, Biser Smederevka Extra Brut, Vranje, Nišava-South Morava 2016 | 92 points

Super-pale, clear and bright with fine bubbles. Spring blossom and green apple on the nose, fruit focused rather than autolytic. It’s clean and precise, refreshing, and a really appetising example of this relatively understated grape.

Drink: 2023-2024 | Alcohol: 11.5% abv.

See more: aleksicvinarija.rs

Vinčić, Reserve Grašac, Fruška Gora, Srem 2020 | 95

Inviting on the nose, with hints of lemon zest and poached pear. There’s real depth from 50-year-old vines. Silky texture with creamy hints, fresh pear and chestnut honey notes, lovely balance with a core of fresh acidity and a refined finish. Classy modern Grašac.

Drink: 2023-2025. Alc: 13.5%.

See more: instagram.com/vinarija.vincic

Matijašević, SoviNoa Fumé Blanc, Oplenac, Šumadija-Great Morava 2020 | 96

Sauvignon Blanc in Serbia can be amazing, showing the aromatic intensity of warmer climates with the crispness of European vineyards. This wine does exactly that – balancing crushed nettle, lemon zest and gunflint with a touch of passion fruit and citrus, subtle oak and a lingering, precise mineral finish.

Drink: 2023-2025. Alc: 14%.

See more: mv.vin

Serbia wines to try

Budimir, Tamjanika, Tri Morave 2021 | 90

Serbia’s local selection of Muscat here offers an expressive, lightly floral bouquet with hints of lemon blossom, elderflower and fresh Muscat grapes. It’s medium-bodied with grape and pear notes, appealing texture and a clean, bright, lemony finish.

Drink: 2023. Alc: 13%.

Stockist: £15.95 Niko Preston.

Deurić, Severna Morava, Fruška Gora, Srem 2020 | 92

A delicate wine with subtle honeydew melon and lime zest on the nose. The palate is linear and precise with a hint of salinity and zesty notes, channelling its Riesling parentage.

Drink: 2023-2024. Alc: 13.5%.

Stockist: £15.95 Niko Preston.

Bikicki, Uncensored Traminac, Fruška Gora, Srem 2020 | 95

Light amber, low-intervention orange wine with six days on skins. Poached peach, lychee and mango with a touch of rose water. Strikes a lovely balance between freshness, fruit and fine saline tannins, while expressing its exotic Traminer character.

Drink: 2023-2026. Alc: 14.5%.

Stockist: £30 It’s Alive.

Red wines to try

serbia red wines to try

Erdevik, Grand Trianon, Fruška Gora, Srem 2016 | 95

Made with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Shiraz, 24% Merlot. A complex but fine bouquet with notes of cedar, blackcurrant and well-integrated oak leads to a palate with lovely concentration but no heaviness. Shiraz adds a touch of bramble fruit and spice on the mid-palate. Fine-grained but structural tannins and vibrant acidity complete the picture.

Drink: 2023-2030. Alc: 14.5%.

Stockists: £25.95-£29 Lekker Wines, Niko Preston.

Aleksandrović, Grand Reserve Rodoslov, Oplenac, Šumadija-Great Morava 2018 | 95

Comprising 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc. Lovely cassis and blackberry overlaid with cedar and oak. There’s great depth of plush, juicy fruit, but tamed by its freshness and grainy tannins. Has a long life ahead.

Drink: 2022-2030. Alc: 14.5%.

See more: vinarijaaleksandrovic.rs

Matalj, Kremen Kamen, Negotinska Krajina 2017 | 95

A wonderful example of how good Cabernet Sauvignon can be in Serbia, selected from a single historic vineyard, named for its stony soils. Inviting bouquet of cedar, cassis and fine, well-integrated oak. Juicy, generous blackcurrant and dark plum fruit, supported by firm but fine-grained tannins and balanced freshness.

Drink: 2024-2030. Alc: 15%.

See more: mataljvinarija.rs

Serbia red wine bottles

Doja, Prokupac, Toplica 2019 | 94

Lovely, inviting and fruity on the nose with bilberry, loganberry and red cherry and just a touch of spicy oak. To taste, it’s fresh and linear, vibrant with raspberry and red cherry freshness, and gentle tannins. A super, pure expression of young Prokupac.

Drink: 2023-2025. Alc: 14%.

Stockist: £15.95 Niko Preston.

Temet, Reserve, Tri Morave 2018 |94

A blend of 55% Cabernet Franc and 45% Prokupac. The bouquet is complex with notes of damson, coffee, forest fruit and tobacco, overlaid with a touch of oak spice. To taste, it’s an elegant medium-bodied wine, with youthful wild raspberry and loganberry fruit, grainy tannins and a bright, fresh core. Drink: 2023-2030. Alc: 15%.

See more: temet.rs

Ivanović, Cuvee No 1/2, Tri Morave 2018 | 94

An inky-dark wine with complex black cherry and berry fruit, tobacco, cedar and a hint of wild herbs. Generous ripe fruit with notes of damson, black cherry and sandalwood and a long finish. A great showcase of the aromatics of Prokupac supported by plummy Merlot and structure from Cabernet.

Drink: 2023-2028. Alc: 16%.

See more: ivanovicvino.com

serbia wines to seek out

Djoković, Syrah, Oplenac, Šumadija-Great Morava 2019 | 93

Yes, that Djoković. From tennis star Novak and his uncle at their own vineyard in Šumadija. A bright, inviting and pure expression of young Syrah with notes of raspberry and subtle spice. It’s graceful, pure and fresh to taste with attractive raspberry and berry notes, a twist of black pepper and refined tannins, then a long finish.

Drink: 2023-2026. Alc: 15%.

See more: @djokovicwinery

Zvonko Bogdan, Icon Campana Rubimus, Subotica-Horgoš 2019 | 93

Composed with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot, this is a big, rich and generously fruited wine, and beautifully made in that style. Masses of bilberry, bramble and cassis fruit, with a hint of cloves and vanilla. The palate is juicy and velvety but backed by fine-grained tannins and a fresh backbone.

Drink: 2023-2030. Alc: 15%.

See more: vinarijazvonkobogdan.com

Milanović, Probus, Fruška Gora, Srem 2020 | 93 

Inky, dark purple wine, with vivid bilberry and cassis aromas, and just a hint of violet. There’s appealing super-juicy, crushed blueberry fruit with bramble and cassis, too, backed by lovely freshness and grainy tannins. Such a joyously drinkable style.

Drink: 2023-2024. Alc: 14.5%.

See more: @vinarijamilanovic

Related articles

Around Serbia: key wine regions to know

Serbia: Five local grape varieties to watch

Belgrade: A wine lover’s guide

Back to the main Serbia wines page

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