Staff Favorites - Olivia Ragni

Olivia Ragni
Olivia Ragni  | Send Email  |   Subscribe to My Sommelier Service
My roots are in Philadelphia, and to a greater extent, Italy. Wine has always been a focal point of my Italian-American culture, and the years I spent working in Philadelphia’s fine dining scene piqued my interest in the wine industry. Prior to Los Angeles, I was a resident of Portugal, Turkey, and Germany, three stops on my tour of Europe as an English teacher. Portugal was my first locale and the one that left the greatest impression. The wine culture of Portugal is so rich and so storied; I was completely taken by the people’s passion for wine. I decided to explore the vast expanse of European wine regions, including Italy, Andalusia, and Croatia. In each of these locations I discovered wines and cultures that I had previously not known and discovered my affinity for the bold sherries of Jerez de la Frontera and the crisp, maritime whites of Vrbnik. My hope is to share my love of these old world wines with people who have not yet had the pleasure of discovering them.


Reviews

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2013 Claude Riffault "Les Boucauds" Sancerre
Review Date: 11-14-2014
The ‘Les Boucauds’ is very racy and zippy. The nose shows notes of bright lemon peel, a hint of flint and minerality. The palate provides sharp, mouthwatering acidity and a very linear and focused backbone of minerality. Notes of limoncello, orange blossom and lime zest are perfect for seafood or simply sipping on those inevitably, unseasonably warm winter days in SoCal.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart RP 93 BC 0

2011 Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc
Review Date: 11-12-2014
The aromatics of this Pinot Blanc blew me away, never have I had a Pinot Blanc with so much intensity. The nose is extremely complex, full of honeysuckle, snowbell flowers, honeycomb, apricot, pears, and I can go on and on and on....The palate starts out similar to the nose with honey and pear until all of a sudden you're smacked with high acid, slate, wet stone, and steely minerality. The finish is long, dry, and satisfying. An exceptional Alsatian white that is sure to become a staple in my home.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart WE 89 BC 0

2012 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 11-12-2014
The wine reminds me of the holidays! With a nose of clove, black pepper, cardamom, and bramble fruits and a palate full of ripe plums, blackberries, baking spices and fine tannins, all you’ll need is this bottle to season and spice up your holidays.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart RP 92 BC 0

2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo
Review Date: 11-6-2014
Patience will be very rewarding with this Barolo. It’s big and has the potential to live a very long life. Decant to drink now. It’s full of bright cherries, cedar, leather and tobacco with hints of those classic Barolo characteristics of tar and roses. A powerful wine will all the right elements for ageing. Definitely one to add to the cellar.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Château de la Font du Loup Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 10-31-2014
This Chateauneuf is beautiful. It’s done in a more restrained style, moving more towards traditional Chateauneuf. Its perfumed nose is extremely complex with notes of rose petals, lavender, ripe plums and spices like black pepper and cloves. The complexities follow through on the palate with violets, chocolate, coffee grounds, forest floor and anise. Perfectly balanced structure, plush fine tannins, ready to drink now or has the capacity to age.

2013 The Three Foxes Clairette Blanche Coastal Region
Review Date: 10-29-2014
This is one of the reasons I love South Africa, they aren't afraid to try things like this, oh and just so happen to perfectly execute it as well. Clairette partially macerated on its skins for 3 months, the outcome, quasi-orange wine. It shows notes of fresh pressed apples, chalky minerality, white flowers, and hops. The more I let the wine open, the more it unveiled itself, continuously opening and changing. Organically farmed and unfined and unfiltered. Delicious.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 FRAM Pinotage Citrusdal Mountain
Review Date: 10-29-2014
Never have I experienced such an elegant Pinotage in my life. None of those unwanted burnt rubber aromas. If you’re not an admirer of Pinotage, this wine will certainly convert you. This is (hopefully) the new movement in Pinotage. It provides aromas of purple flowers, blackberries and cocoa, a palate of plush, fine tannins, juicy black fruits, plums and figs, with violets and spice to round it out. A Pinotage full of complexity and class.
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Tongue In Groove "Clayvin Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 10-29-2014
An exceptional pinot from a stellar new DI. Earthier that the Cabal Vineyard pinot, the Clayvin offers aromas of forest floor, white flowers and a touch of peat. The palate is full of bramble, blackberry, leather and pine elegantly integrated. This is just my type of pinot, elegantly earthy.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 96

Quartz Reef "Zero Dosage" Sparkling Wine Central Otago
Review Date: 10-29-2014
While the nose may provide you with some toasty, brioche notes, the palate of the zero dosage is incredibly racy. Its high, mouthwatering acidity and frisky bubbles provide a great pairing for oysters or ceviche. The wine’s acidity is exceptionally balanced with ripe fruits and minerality. This bubbly is the perfect excuse to find something to celebrate.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Ad Lib (Larry Cherubino) "Avant Gardening" Malbec / Cabernet Western Australia
Review Date: 10-25-2014
This Malbec is such a steal; a must-have for Malbec lovers. Its juicy acidity and fine tannins are well balanced with ripe, dark fruits of fresh blackberries and figs and beautiful notes of spices such as black licorice, cracked pepper and clove. Certainly the best Aussie Malbec I’ve ever had!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2008 Taylor LBV Port
Review Date: 10-22-2014
This filtered LBV is ready to drink now. Its purple hue reflect the nose of enticing violets, blackberries, blueberries, plums and the faintest hint of peat. Its medium-sweet palate is full of dark plums, figs, dates, cocoa, and exotic spices. A beautiful after-dinner drink or for pairing with dessert.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

Lustau Dry Amontillado "Los Arcos" Solera Reserva
Review Date: 10-22-2014
This dry Amontillado is a perfect accompaniment to cured meats and other Spanish style snacks. With its beautiful amber color, this Amontillado has pungent aromas of roasted nuts, coffee and dried figs, while the palate includes candied orange peel, seawater, toffee and butterscotch. Its pronounced flavors open up your pairing possibilities to more than just snacks, it could even hold up to a full array of grilled meats.

2010 Quinta dos Roques Encruzado Dao
Review Date: 10-10-2014
An incredibly interesting and enticing wine made from the Encruzado grape, which is the most highly regarded white variety in Portugal, usually made in a very rich style, with intent for bottle aging. The Quinta dos Roques is no exception. A full, rich-bodied white with notes of almonds and hazelnuts, snap peas, sweet pears, resin and gorgeous floral notes. It’s bursting with minerality and stone fruits, while there are some noticeable oak characteristics, they are well integrated. This white is for those Chardonnay drinkers who want an Old World style Chard with the added bonus of decadence and the ability to lay this down for years to come.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Eric Cottat Sancerre
Review Date: 9-10-2014
A bright and vibrant Sancerre, with high acid and crisp zesty lemon and lime on the nose and the palate intertwined with an enticing white blossom nose and a dry orange zest finish. Keep a few of these stashed in the fridge for company and patio sipping!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Dog Point Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 9-5-2014
While this is quite a big Pinot, it manages to maintain that bright freshness we all love in Pinot. A well balanced wine with notes of fresh blackberry juice, juicy black cherry, pine needles and cloves.

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