Five Italian Wines Our Head Wine Buyer Loves

As the head wine buyer at Astor Wines & Spirits Lorena Ascencios has tasted wine all over the world. These are a few of her favorite high-end Italian wines.

Cialla Bianco, Ronchi di Cialla – 1997

This Bianco a ripe, heady blend of Ribolla Gialla, Verduzzo and Picolit is at such a complex point now in its evolution. Springtime yellow plums spread luxuriantly across beeswax, honeycomb and toasted hazelnuts. A special treat for any who enjoy classic Fruilian wines.


“G” Gigetto, Poggio La Noce – 2011

A Super Tuscan that’s meaningful, affordable, and meant for real people consumption. Made from vines planted high up at 800 feet in elevation. The soil is mixed with clay, limestone and shale. The fruit is severely selected, de-stemmed, fermented, and then aged in a mix of old and new wood. The result is a lively, full-bodied red wine that’s fresh and begging for your favorite Tuscan pasta.

Barbaresco “Ovello,” Gigi Bianco – 2008

An exquisite pairing with meaty stews or braised duck breast. This is a classic Barbaresco with charming aromas: roses, white pepper, and red fruits. Classic, elegant Nebbiolo from a tiny property in Barbaresco.


Barolo “Brunate,” Oddero – 2007

A very classic and intensely aromatic Barolo with bouquets of roses and violets to tease the nose. A dollop of warm earth and ripe red currant textured by persistent tannins hints that this wine is only at the start of its long life. From La Morra, this Nebbiolo was aged in 15 hL used French oak for about 30 months.

Brunello di Montalcino, Mastrojanni – 2009

The Mastrojanni estate is one of the top producers of Montalcino. Their approach is traditional, and they’ve done an especially great job with this idiosyncratic vintage. Clearly more structured than a typical Montalcino, this full-bodied red wine is full of mixed dark fruits. Decant and enjoy today, or hold it for several years.