There is not much this wine would have in common with Pinot Noirs as you know them from France, the U.S. or Hungary. It’s a nice red but also somehow funny. The adjective ‘funny’ is not, of course, a popular word in the wine vocabulary; still, I feel it may express my confusion with the product. Let’s make it clear: this Pinot is not the fist wine you need to try in Serbia, as there are more important personalities in the local wine world, but probably you can appreciate its funny (again!) character after a long day of walking up and down Belgrade’s boulevards.
The wine is named after the Prince Lazar (1329-1389), the ruler of the medieval Serbian Empire. In the epic ballads and tradition he’s called Tsar Lazar, that is Emperor Lazar, although he himself didn’t enjoy the title. It was only Dušan and his son Uroš before Lazar, who were Emperors of the Serbs and Greeks. Lazar died in the famous Battle of Kosovo and was beatified by the Orthodox Church as a martyr. The 12% of the wine don’t bring to mind his power and character. It’s rather a fruity light red, offering you a whole spectrum of cherry- and berry-like notes. It’s ‘funny’ because there is hardly any characteristic that could be really called the personality of this wine. Fruity, sweetish, easily enjoyable, traditional by its little filtrated body that reminds me of homemade juices. I guess it’s the more rustic face of Pinot Noir 🙂
In Serbia, some people like drinking red wine that is colder than room temperature. For this wine it is worth of trying.
‘Rubin’ is somehow a heritage of those ‘better’ socialist times. It was established in 1955 in Kruševac as one of the big companies or cooperatives, which then dominated the production of the Central and Eastern European countries. Some products by ‘Rubin’ became spectacularly popular in Yugoslavia and the winery still enjoys its old good reputation as a source of wines available to the majority of citizens, firstly due to the distribution (they are everywhere in Serbia!), and secondly due to the prices, which are much lower than those of wines from small, celebrated wineries and monasteries with age-old wine-making traditions.