My Twelve Favorite Wines of 2023


My favorite wines of 2023. Taking a quick trip down memory lane.

5 min read

January 2024 / Nikos Panidis


Creating a list of my twelve favorite wines of 2023 was a good distraction from the sight of the slightly burnt panettone I attempted to make for the holiday season. It served as solace, considering I devoted two entire days to choosing the traditional Milanese recipe to craft it. Thus, returning to what I know and handle better – wine – was as inevitable as necessary.

So here I am, embarking on this exciting new mission, unable to resist the temptation to create my list. I reminisce and search through my notes for all those wines that stood out during the past year.

Although it seemed a relatively straightforward endeavor, it was challenging, given that the wines I truly enjoyed were far more numerous than the ones I wanted to include in my list.

Given this minor challenge, I started compiling the factors that set these wines apart. I can vividly recall the sensations elicited by their aromas, textures, and distinctive characteristics, and understand why they have etched themselves so vividly in my memory. These wines served as exceptional exemplars of authentic expressions of their grape variety or varieties, their unique style, and the regions they come from. Reflecting the art and craft involved, from the vineyard to the winemaking process, some adhere to organic, holistic approaches, while others undergo a gentle vinification process—all contributing to their distinctive character. They stand as clear evidence of the producer’s vision, yearning, and profound commitment to excellence. However, above all, it was the immeasurable pleasure and satisfaction derived from the richness of each sip that created a tapestry of unforgettable tasting experiences, where all elements seamlessly intertwined.

Each of these wines, much like time, is a blend of flavors, impressions, and experiences that, in retrospect, becomes an allegory with unique and varied chapters composing the narrative of the past year and the transition to the new one. 

1. Saint Joseph 2019, Hector, Adrien, Charalambos Lelektsoglou, N Rhône, France
A stunning nose that leads to a palate of ripe tannins enveloped in luscious, juicy fruit. Vibrant, dark and meaty.

2. Hermitage 2019, Guigal, N Rhône, France
Powerful and rich where graceful fruity is artfully accented by subtle peppery notes. A well-balanced composition of strength and elegance.

3. Titolo Aglianico del Vulture 2018, Elena Fucci, Basilicata, Italy
Racy and characterful. Lush with delicious tannins.

4. Ramnista Cyclamina 2012, Kir-Yianni, Naousa, Greece
The epitome of power and finesse in perfect balance.

5. Alpha Xinomavro 2019, Alpha Estate, Amyndeo, Greece
The quintessence of Burgundian finesse in this gem from Amyndeo.

6. Les Cailloutis 2017, Domaine des Landions, Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Refined bouquet. Pure and elegant.

7. Laurier Noir naturε 2022, Tetramythos winery, Peloponnese, Greece
Abundance of fruit, complemented by subtle hints of dried Mediterranean herbs. Savory and richly flavored with immediate charm.

8. Silva Ensticto white 2019, Crete, Greece
Subtle notes of creamy oak neatly combined with the fruit. Very intellectual.

9. Verdea 2022, Kefallinos, Zakynthos Island, Greece
The finest expression of a field blend. Creamy with lively supporting acidity. A modern expression of its heritage.

10. Santorini 2021, Akra Chryssos, Greece 
Elegantly restrained and youthfully vibrant, it holds a lot of promise. Solid structure, high mineral acidity, great potential.

11. MiNimus Orange 2021, Chloi Chatzivariti, Macedonia, Greece
Multilayered and savory. It will make you love Greek natural orange wines.

12. Deus ex Machina Orange 2021, The Knack Project, Attica, Greece
Exquisite craftsmanship is showcased in this small batch, delicious orange from Assyrtiko.

All the wines have been listed randomly.