The Aleksandrović family has been engaged in viticulture and winemaking for more than a hundred years. By the beginning of World War II, they had 30,000 vines, and today they can boast 75 hectares of their own vineyards planted with high-quality grape varieties
The Aleksandrović winery is a leader among Balkan producers and has won a large number of medals for quality at the world’s largest competitions. Their wines can be found in the World Wine Museum in Bordeaux and in the wine lists of elite hotels and restaurants from Japan, China and Russia, all the way to the USA, and they are especially proud of Rodoslov, the crown of their work so far.
The story of Rodoslov Grand Reserve is a primordial story of the birth of a great Serbian wine. It begins in 2004, when the Aleksandrović winery started thinking about making a wine that would be the crown of all their previous work. The project was started with the idea of making a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from the best years, a typical burgundy blend that would bear the certification of the Šumadija terroir. That local certification was to be assured by the Prokupac grape.
Thus, from the 2006 harvest, the first Rodoslov was created, a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 10% Prokupac, a total of about 5,000 litres of wine that macerated for 40 days and then matured for two years in French oak barrels and another two years in large used Slavonian oak barrels with a volume of 4,000 litres.
When it was released on the market in 2011, after an additional year spent in the bottle, the wine immediately attracted the attention of local connoisseurs. Praise came from every direction, and Rodoslov 2006 took first place in the selection of the Best Wines of Serbia that year.
Wine is defined by the characteristics of the climate.
It was the beginning of a series of successful comparisons with other Serbian wines, which continued with numerous recognitions abroad, but also with another confirmation at home when Rodoslov 2016 repeated its success of the previous year and won the title of the best red wine of Serbia!
“Rodoslov is actually a wine authored by our oenologist Vladan Nikolić”, explains Božidar Aleksandrović, owner of the winery. “Although we had burgundy blends as a model, specifically several wines from Medoc, we were aware that Cabernet and Merlot cannot give the same result in Šumadija, because the soil and climate are different. So we had to find a way to define the characteristics of the climate as clearly as possible in the wine. That’s where we got the idea to add Prokupac to the blend, though we didn’t have it in our vineyards at that time, but we sourced top-quality grapes from a 50-yearold vineyard in the vicinity of Stalać.”
GRAPES FROM THEIR OWN VINEYARDS
However, the next edition of Rodoslov from 2009 contained Cabernet Franc instead of Prokupac. The reason was the decision to make this wine only from grapes from their own vineyards. Harvesting was done on three occasions, from specially selected plots from which they obtained the best quality. The result was a particularly powerful wine with pronounced fruitiness, similar to a Bordeaux.
The vintage of 2012 was a certain turning point, when the maceration was reduced to 25 to 30 days in order to highlight the elegance and accentuate the fruitiness even more. Thanks to this, Rodoslov from that vintage and the next one from 2013 had the qualities of a New World wine. Immediately after being put on the market, the wine was ready, and the presence of phenols and tannins was more harmoniously integrated. It was the first evolution in the development of Rodoslov.
Finally, Rodoslov 2016 went one step further, as the first unfiltered wine from the Aleksandrović winery, which in a way united the stylistic characteristics of all the previous vintages.
MARKET REACTIONS ARE CLOSELY MONITORED
“If I had to single out the Rodoslov that best corresponds to the idea that Vlada and I had when we started making this wine, then it would be that vintage,” continues Mr. Aleksandrović. “We took the risk of bottling wine that had not undergone filtration, clarification, or stabilisation, everything that gives us the assurance that it will be microbiologically safe in the bottle. And we took that risk to get a wine that will bear the imprint of the vineyard and the climate even more, because every stabilisation and filtering procedure changes the wine’s style and eliminates part of the originality”.
A little more of this wine was produced than in previous vintages, about 10,000 bottles. The winery closely monitors the market’s reactions to it, especially in countries where it is currently exported, first China and then Scandinavia. Today, Rodoslov is found in restaurants in 10-15 countries, from China and Japan, through Europe to the USA.
A GREAT RECOGNITION FOR A SMALL WINE COUNTRY
Rodoslov has become not only the pride of our winery, but also the wine ambassador of Serbia. We don’t produce it in large quantities, but it is a big deal when we see that some experts put it on the lists of the world’s best wines, as was the case in 2017. That year, in Japan, Tasaki Shinya, best sommelier in the world in 1995, ranked Rodoslov 2012 among the five best wines on the Japanese market. That’s a huge recognition for a small wine country. I can’t get more satisfaction than that”, concludes Božidar Aleksandrović in this short story about Rodoslov, noting that the next release of this special wine will be from the 2019 vintage.
When asked if they are thinking about re-introducing Prokupac to Rodoslov, since in the meantime they have planted two hectares of vineyards with this most popular local red variety, our interlocutor gives an affirmative answer.
“Certainly, certainly. The only reason we haven’t done it already is that we are waiting for the vineyard to reach full strength. So, in about ten years.”