One of the anchors of an ever changing wine world is a certain kind of Italian wine, which keeps what's best about Italian style and tradition and combines it with modern winemaking techniques. The Gaja (about $175, sample) is such a wine. But why not? They have been making wine since 1859.
The Gaja is a red wine made with nebbiolo in the Barbaresco region (which is why it's called a Barbaresco). It has that long Italian finish and incredible tannins that will solve the mystery of why tannins can make wine better. There is the requisite acidity and enough fruit so that U.S. palates won't be disappointed. The alcohol is a bit high at 14 percent, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. And you'll even note the aroma of violets.
This is a wine to share with someone for a special occasion -- roast pork or slowly braised beef will do. Open the Gaja at least an hour ahead of time and maybe longer. And if you want to buy it now and put it down, it should be good for 20 years or longer.