2007 Ogier, Clos de l'Oratoire des Papes, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône

( £25, 15%, Majestic )

Too many UK retailers are already on the 2009 and even 2010 vintage of CNDP, so it’s good to taste a wine that, while still young, is showing some bottle maturity. This is rich and deeply coloured with dark berry fruits, a hint of clove and a spicy, meaty finish.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, France, Red, Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvèdre

2008 Iona, One Man Band, Elgin

( £23.99, 14%, Enotria & Coe )

There are no fewer than six varieties in this well-crafted red from the high flying Iona winery in Elgin. Syrah dominates to the tune of 80%, with support from Cabernet, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Mourvèdre and Viognier. The wine has real density, with smoky, bramble and blackberry fruit, toasty oak and the freshness you’d expect from a cooler area. A bright debut.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, South Africa, Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mourvèdre

NV Bertrand de Bessac, Cuvée du Marquis Brut, Champagne

( £29.99 down to £24.49, 12%, Waitrose )

A blend of 60% Pinot Noir from the Aube and 40% Chardonnay from the Côte des Blancs, this has a hefty proportion of toasty reserve wine to add to the ripe fruit from the 2009 vintage. The result is a delicious fizz with real complexity, power and depth as well as the backbone to age. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, France, Sparkling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

2010 Domaine Joly Puligny-Montrachet Vieilles Vignes, Burgundy

( £29.99 down to £24.49, 13%, Sainsbury's )

If you feel like treating your nearest and dearest (or just yourself) on Christmas Day, I’d buy a bottle of this very smart white Burgundy from one of the best vintages of the last 50 years. Focused and rich, with lovely oak integration, mealy, buttery notes and a foundation of minerally, limestone-related acidity. The wine is great now, but will happily sit in your wine rack for another five years or more. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-18Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, France, White, Chardonnay

2010 Biondi Cisterna Fuori IGT Sicilia, Etna, Sicily

( N/A, 13.5%, Vino Passione )

Ciro Biondi’s new single vineyard Etna Rosso, bottled as an IGT due to a mix-up with this year’s paperwork, is still a baby – but already the attractive, lifted red fruit is approachable, and the tannins are muscular but refined. There’s a gorgeous lemon-candy/salty finish, along with slightly nervy acidity that should ensure a bright future. One to cellar for a couple of years, at least.

Drinking window: 2014-2024Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nerello Capuccio, Nerello Mascalese

2009 Scilio Alta Quota Etna Rosso, Etna, Sicily

( N/A, 14%, N/A UK (Available from the winery) )

Salvatore Scilio has one of the few organically certified estates on Mount Etna, and Alta Quota is his premium expression of Nerello Mascalese. The balance between acidity and structure is impressive, and the muscular, ripe fruit has a herby, rosemary scent running through it. Superbly elegant, and feels like one for the long haul.

Drinking window: 2012-2022Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nerello Mascalese

2007 Benanti Rovitello Etna Rosso, Etna, Sicily

( €13.50 Ex-cellar, 14%, Les Caves de Pyrene )

Vinicola Benanti is one of the most established quality producers in the Mount Etna region. Their Rovitello vineyards are on the Northern slopes, and the slightly cooler ripening conditions are reflected in this elegant, mineral and smoky Nerello Mascalese/Nerello Capuccio blend.

Drinking window: 2012-2020Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, Italy, Red, Nerello Capuccio, Nerello Mascalese

2008 Benanti Pietramarina Etna Bianco Superiore, Etna, Sicily

( €16.50 Ex-cellar, 13%, Les Caves de Pyrene )

This wine has the kind of taut, fresh yet delicate feel that I associate with high altitude – and Etna Bianco Superiore wines can only be made in the commune of Milo, with Carricante grown between 900-1100m above sea level. This is superior by name, and by nature. Scents of white flowers and acacia lead to generous, rather sauvignon-like fruit. The finish is mineral and flinty with an attractive bitterness that makes it very thirst quenching and rather morish.

Drinking window: 2012-2015Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Italy, White, Carricante

2010 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso “Calderara Sottana”, Etna, Sicily

( £22, 14%, Justerini & Brooks )

Marco de Grazia has two prized single vineyard sites in the Etna region – Calderara is situated near the Northerly town of Randazzo. A seriously structured wine, with rather dusty fruit, and spicy, bitter cocoa flavours. Unsurprisingly for Nerello Mascalese grown on black, volcanic soil, this has terrific minerality and lemon fresh acidity. Organically certified.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-2018Similar Wines: £20-£30, 86-90, Italy, Red, Nerello Capuccio, Nerello Mascalese

2008 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso “Santo Spirito”, Etna, Sicily

( £22, 14%, Justerini & Brooks )

The Santo Spirito vineyards are situated between 650-700m above sea level. This Nerello Mascalese is bursting with blueberry/black cherry fruit – so much so that the spicy, smoky oak influence takes a back seat. Santo Spirito is a big wine though, and still a baby at four years old. Some might say it’s an international style, yet there’s that typical Salty Etna tang on the finish. Organically certified.

BuyDrinking window: 2012-2020Similar Wines: £20-£30, 91-95, Italy, Red, Nerello Capuccio, Nerello Mascalese