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Extraordinary young wines from Fruška Gora - Deurić Winery

Written on 15-09-2017 by Dusan Jelic, Novi Sad, Serbia

Deurić Winery from Mala Remeta, Fruška Gora, Serbia

As a member of DEUS business group, Atos Fructum Company, to which the Deurić winery belong, was established in 2007 in Mala Remeta on the South Eastern slopes of Fruška Gora.

Truly exceptional quality of the soil and water, as well as mild climate and a great geographical position resulted in a creation of the apple orchard as big as 100 hectares!

 

The vineyards were planted in 2009, covering some 14 hectares. Located some 250 meters above the sea level Deurić vineyards enjoy loads of sunshine. These grapes are basis for top quality wines in one of the most famous wine regions of Serbia. I have to mention that Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius Probus planted the very first vineyards in the third century. These vineyards were purposefully planted on the South Eastern slopes of Fruška Gora, which was a part of the ancient Sirmium. The Slavs continued engaging in viticulture, while Serbian medieval monasteries tremendously contributed in preserving viticultural and winemaking tradition.

 

A gorgeous ambiance of Fruška Gora, including Deurić Winery and its surroundings make any visitor very welcome. It takes less than an hour to reach the winery from Novi Sad or Belgrade. The visitors are offered vineyard and apple orchard tours in small trains, winery tour, as well as wine tasting and food and wine pairing. It is extremely relaxing to enjoy silence while observing huge parts of Serbia, as during the sunny days it is possible to see Cer and Avala mountains or Obrenovac, Ruma and Sremska Mitrovica.

 

New orchards and vineyards together with the national park of Fruška Gora are a part of the area with outstanding biological diversity. Let me mention lindens, fresh and crisp air, springs and lakes, walking tours and monasteries and we immediately feel invited. Deurić Winery prides itself with the brand new building. They exclusively process the fruits from their own vineyards and together with top notch consultants from France produce wines of supreme quality.

 

On July 15, 2017 I visited the winery. Our host crafted an exclusive event and picked only 12 wine professionals and enthusiasts, in order to present 5 exciting young wines. The tasting had taken place in a brand new cellar room. Seated around a massive table, a few inches away from the wine barrels, enjoying cool classic music, with almost religious devotions we heard a short speech by Mitar Deurić, alpha and omega of the winery. He was flanked by Zlatko Živanić and Mirko Niškanović, in charge of wine sales and wine making respectively.

 

We tasted 5 wines, which are still work-in-progress, although it is evident that the above three aces already decided in what direction these wines shall go.

 

We first tasted Chardonnay 2016 from one of the high quality barrique barrels. This Chard has fantastic acidity and splendid structure where fruit notes dominate. The sample spent 8 months in new French barrique. For the first time they used wild yeast, or in words of the winemaker - ‘selected wild yeast’. Only the top quality grapes were used. The wine has 14% of alcohol and its freshness is remarkable. Taking into account a variety of barrique barrels used, it is guaranteed that a final bland shall present a very complex wine, powerful and seductive. I feel that this Chardonnay found its home on Fruška Gora. 

 

We then tasted Pinot Noir 2016 that matured almost 8 months in barrique. You first pick exciting hints of wild strawberries. It was so easy to recognize this variety in our glasses. The wine has about 13% of alcohol and the influence of oak is pretty strong at this point. However, with a passage of time harmonization will be taking place, and I expect to see a perfect integration of wine and oak in due course. I feel that extraction from the oak is completed and wine is indeed well-rounded. On the palate I felt noble passion of wine to peak only in 4 to 5 years.

 

Our next wine was Marselan 2016. There are only 4 barrels of this wine. When I closed my eyes and nosed this sample, I picked intensive notes of sour cherries. The fruitiness is a key characteristic of this wine. Tannins are very finely granulated. Although expected notes of pepper were not picked, as much as they often accompany this variety. Again, the selected wild yeast was used, which renders the entire process of creating this wine pretty exciting!

 

The forth sample was Merlot 2016. This wine was kept in new French barrique barrels and only two days before the tasting was transferred to Inox tanks. On the nose I detected subtle pyrazine notes carrying an interesting cocktail of herbal aromas. This Merlot has a lingering aftertaste brimming with powerful notes of juicy red fruits. Deurić winery has a young Merlot that has huge potential for maturing!

 

The biggest pleasant surprise of this great tasting is a phenomenal Probus 2016! This is a pure black currant. Alcohol level is 13,3%. The wine is dry; tannins are perfect with loads of extract and a gorgeous Cabernet-like character which reminds us to a wine from warmer climates. A well-known Serbian wine professional Igor Luković stated that this wine is ‘the most Cabernet-like from all Probus wines I have tasted’. The winemaker stated that Probus demonstrated the most stable ‘behaviour’ in various barrique barrels, in comparison with other varieties. I believe that this Serbian variety created by crossing of Cabernet Sauvignon and Kadarka has a great future in the Fruška Gora region! The young Probus 2016 from Deurić winery is truly a special wine. I shall follow this wine with great attention.

 

So, what is my conclusion?

When there is a great idea, a strong team of competent and passionate professionals and at the same time you own a piece of paradise called Fruška Gora - and are more than willing to craft some big wines, you are simply condemned to success! Deurić winery is a brilliant example and an inspiration to the entire Serbian wine scene how a successful wine story should be developed. In addition to great wines, you have to have a realistic and sustainable plan of the wine tourism development in order to succeed!