Dragan T. Zaric – Podne
It’s wine o’clock with sensational bottle
The most magical encounters are spontaneous. It’s the life flow that guides you sometimes and it was meant for me to get to know this wine. My encounter happened today, with the wine from Vinograd Hopovo (Hopovo Vineyard) whose winemaker is Mr. Zaric, a painter who used to live in Canada. As soon as I had a first sip, the wine produced a burst of excitement and instant love. I am spellbound.
I was lucky enough that I was living in Paris, the meting-pot for all my interests in gastronomy, academic life, wine and perfumes. It’s where I bloomed with my knowledge. Working as the TV correspondent for Croatia (HRT) and Sorbonne student, my doors were open to meet many persons. My friendship with a judge of Court of Appeal turned me into Pinot Noir lover. He is a big connoisseur of Pinot Noir and he offered me 1er Cru (Mercurey, Nuits Saint Georges, Chassagne-Montrachet) bottles which I keep with utmost care. But yet, I am spellbound by a Pinot Noir made at Fruska Gora, from a winemaker Zaric who has been a painter, but produces magical wine. That’s proving how wine labeling is different than reality.
Bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis – a good wine makes one’s heart happy. This wine was an unexpected gift from a very special person to me. I have discovered my favorite place to be, after my and Renata’s home – Salas 137. Salas 137 brought new friendship to my life, the one with Aleksandar Samardzija Splico who I appreciate very much and who is very kind to me. His warm welcoming makes Salas 137 my home too and I hope this friendship will last for a lifetime. This wine was a gift from him and that makes it even more special.

Back to wine. Podne is translated as “noon” or “mid-day“, when sun is at zenith. Vinery Hopovo makes wines for every occasion and each one tells different story. Podne is the story of beautiful Pinot Noir that you can’t experience elsewhere. I am enchanted by its fruitiness and different approach. It’s not an ordinary Pinot Noir the one would expect. Believe me, it’s worth discovering.
I don’t know if there is only one secret or several secrets about this wine. The fermentation is being done by using Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces combined. The terroir is like in a fairy-tale, a God-given land for beautiful vineyard and wine-making. They are layered on a very special altitude with specific atmosphere that only Fruska Gora has. Maturation of this Pinot Noir is in medium burned oak casks composed from Serbian oak only.
It’s like a good perfume. You will remember the perfume, the moment and the time when you had it. Pinot Noir affects me like the same way. I will remember when, where and with whom I opened the bottle of this nectar for the first time. It has silky texture with fruity undertones of plum, cinnamon and vanilla that are accompanied with acids. It’s a pity Greek gods don’t have the opportunity to taste this Serbian wine, but it’s never too late. Elegant texture and opulent aftertaste. You should always have a spare bottle.
Juraj, BL’eauOG