Lancashire Times
Weekend Edition
Nathan Lane
Wine Correspondent
1:00 AM 28th December 2023

Best Wines Of 2023 And Here's To 2024

We have asked a selection of our writers to write about the highlights of the past year and what to look forward to in 2024. Here's Nathan Lane's thoughts on wine ...

Reviewing the best wines we’ve sampled this year allows us to take a trip down memory lane. Each sip takes you to a time and place with friends and family, and isn’t that the beauty of a good wine?

The wines aren’t the biggest, boldest, cheapest, or most expensive. The wines below represent the best we’ve tasted this year and take you on a trip around the world.

First up is the Nordesía Vermú Branco, which is one of the nicest white vermouths I’ve ever tasted. It is sweet without being cloying and is bursting with flavour from the rich Albariño grapes. Stick your nose in the glass and enjoy a blast of almond tart. The flavours are smooth and fruity, with a long finish of minerals and herbs.

It is made with a blend of Galician white wines and local herbs and botanicals. The palate is light and crisp, with flavours of chamomile, fennel, and a touch of bitterness. It’s available online for around £30 a bottle and should be kept as a treat and a refreshing alternative to that glass of red you enjoy when you get home.

Next, we head to Greece for the Moschopolis 18 Mavrotragano Syrah 2020. The combination of the well-known varietal Syrah and the local variety Mavrotragano creates a wine with a beautiful balance. It exhibits a high level of complexity with notes of little red fruits, tart cherries, plums, vanilla, and tobacco.

Stick your nose in the glass, and you are hit with smoke and leather. The finish is long and smooth with well-balanced tannins. It’s a complex, weighty wine with dark chocolate, coffee, spices, and dried figs. You can find Moschopolis 18 Mavrotragano Syrah online for around £24.

And finally, on a trip to Porto, we discovered the Purista Alf 2021. A Vinho Tinto, the wine is strawberry and candy-coloured, which almost looks like a rose in the bottle.

It offers a fresh burst of fresh red fruit with a touch of bramble funk. Swirl it around your mouth, and you get a hit of cherries and cranberries with a hint of menthol and spice. Unlike the heavy reds that you expect from the region, this wine is light, fruity, and very moreish. It’s available online from £24.

What does 2024 hold?

British wines continue to go from strength to strength, and we’re seeing more of them stocked in wine merchants and supermarkets. The price also seems to be coming down overall, making them a more attractive option.

As spring rolls around and the sun comes out, it’s worth exploring British whites and sparkling wines. Keep an eye out for the Bacchus grape variety; its hardy nature makes it ideal for our abundance of weather. It makes for fragrant and crisp white wines. Chapel Down is an excellent example.

Greek wines also offer fantastic quality and value. Majestic has the delicious Lyrarakis Assyrtiko 2021/22 from Crete available for £10.99 on a six-bottle deal. It’s Greece’s answer to Chablis, with lots of fruit and minerality.

There are many Greek wines to explore, and they offer a great alternative to the French, Spanish and Italian grapes you know well. An alternative to Pinot Noir is Xinomavro, which offers fruity reds with bags of red and black fruit, balanced acidity and a complex finish. You never know; the wines may inspire you to visit a Greek island this summer.

Our wine enthusiast Nathan lives in Leeds and runs PR and marketing company Campfire PR