This is an elegant expression of Nebbiolo (here called Chiavennasca) from one ofItaly'ssmallest appellations in the mountains near the Swiss border. Valtellina has several sub-zones, the best known of which is the wonderfully named "Inferno."
Giuseppe Rainoldi's 2007 Valtellina Superiore "Inferno" Riserva is definitely a keeper. Though these wines age well, this one is drinking beautifully right now, so why wait? The bouquet of flowers, cherries and leaves seduces right away, but it's the flavor and texture that stand out most — silky, with finely honed tannins and the pure taste of Nebbiolo grown high up near the Alps.
Region: Piedmont, Italy
Price: $36 to $39
Style: Elegant, medium-bodied
What it goes with: Chicken sauté, grilled lamb chops, risotto
Where to find it: Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, http://www.wallywine.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com; and Wine Hotel in Los Angeles, (323) 937-9463, http://www.thewinehotel.com