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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2002 Couly-Dutheil "Clos de l'Echo" Chinon
Review Date: 3-26-2015
2002 is still very young for this producer but this bottling is showing great potential! The nose provides notes of tomato leaf, crushed herbs and leather while the palate expresses cherry, cassis, earth, tobacco and raw mushroom. With so much structure, this bottle is sure to age well for another 10-15 years, easily.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1989 Couly-Dutheil "Baronnie Madeleine" Chinon
Review Date: 3-26-2015
An old bottle of Couly Dutheil Chinon always holds up so well, and the price is always such a steal. The 1989 shows pretty notes of crushed flowers, leather, dry earth and meat. The palate brings tertiary flavors of sweet mushrooms, iron and salted meats. There’s still sweet cherry and cranberry notes, and the dusty tannins and acidity are still prevalent, this wine is sure to have another 5 years in it at least, just look at how well the 1976 is doing!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1976 Couly Dutheil "Baronnie Madeleine" Chinon
Review Date: 3-26-2015
Wow!! At 39 years old this Chinon is more beautiful than ever. We had this bottle open for 3 days and it only got better. The wine is all umami while still having a backbone of fruit. On the nose notes of dill, iron and tomato show through while on the palate there’s soy, mushrooms, organic earth, meat, and soft cherry tannins. It’s somehow so elegant while showing so much flavor. Just stunning!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Marisa Cuomo "Ravello" Costa d'Amalfi Bianco
Review Date: 3-21-2015
Marisa Cuomo makes so of my favorite whites, period. The Ravello emanates notes of lemon oil, white flowers, crushed wet stones and peach fuzz. The palate expresses lemon zest, white peach, and nectarine, but that’s just the beginning. Honeysuckle, almond skins, pithy and chalky minerality integrate perfectly with the high acid and beeswax texture. Try it with a seafood risotto!!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart BC 0

1993 Schloss Schönborn Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Auslese
Review Date: 3-20-2015
The color of this wine is so majestic with a gorgeous burnt orange, honey color that seems to tell you immediately this wine is special. The nose is full of petrol, wet stones, honeysuckle and orange blossom. Flavors of honeycomb, hazelnuts, apricot and burnt orange fill the palate. It’s sweet and full bodied but still so well balanced with acidity. A perfect after dinner drink!
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Dreissigacker Riesling Trocken
Review Date: 3-20-2015
The Dreissigacker trocken is so beautifully balanced, like it’s been practicing yoga for years. The nose expresses peach, white flower, basil and chalk. Stone fruits like nectarine and peach certainly come through on the palate with a touch of lemon oil and orange zest. All that elegant silky and rich Rheinhessen body shows through with a great backbone of acidity and very little sugar all work together in perfect harmony. Namaste.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Fourcas Dupré, Listrac
Review Date: 3-19-2015
It’s time to pay attention to this delicious Bordeaux in an over-looked vintage. It shows an enticing bouquet of espresso, dark cherries, honey and cocoa with a rich palate of plums, blackberries and chocolate covered cherries. It’s incredibly well balanced with high acid and firm tannins, while integrated enough to drink now, this bottle will age with grace for the next 10 years.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 3-19-2015
A bouquet of wild berries and purple flowers leads to a palate of sweet fruits and dark cherries, pencil shavings, and chocolate with well balanced acidity and plush tannins.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Beck-Hartweg "F" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 3-11-2015
This full-bodied Pinot will have you second guessing its origins. The nose is smoky yet floral and full of graphite and minerally earth. Rather than that light and bright Alsatian Pinot, this Pinot is meaty in both flavor and weight with flavors of crushed herbs, eucalyptus, pine, cranberry and dark cherry. An exceptional Pinot with earthy elegance.
Price: $30.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2010 Le Petit Saint Vincent "Cres-cen-do" Saumur Champigny
Review Date: 3-11-2015
Gorgeous old vine Cab Franc from a cute little certified organic vineyard that has elegance and power. The “Cres-cen-do” has an enticing nose of tobacco, fresh leather, violet and tomato. The palate is packed with savory and herbaceous flavors with the cherry and fruit taking a back seat. Light enough to drink now with a quick decant, but powerful enough acidity and tannin to put in the cellar. I would love to open a bottle of this in 5 years and see its savory development!
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Rouge
Review Date: 3-1-2015
Wow, this wine is so beautifully expressive and elegant in its youth, I can only imagine how elegantly it will develop over the next 5-10 years. The nose smells of cured meats, rosemary and sage and black currents while the palate has notes of dark cherry, leather, black pepper, organic earth, slate and graphite with elegant, polished tannins. Makes me want to fly to France and have this wine with a hearty cassoulet.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Charles Trosset Mondeuse "Harmonie" Vin de Savoie-Arbin
Review Date: 2-27-2015
Mondeuse should be everyone’s new love affair. It’s sort of like you’re cheating on Old World Gamay or Pinot Noir with a more down-to-earth, funky relative. This Mondeuse has a nose of celery seed, crushed herbs, and violets, a delicate palate with bright acidity, cranberry, bramble, sage and slate. It will make you want to forget about all those other lean varieties and exclusively drink Mondeuse.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Blanc
Review Date: 2-26-2015
This is such a unique wine, with a quirky cepage of grapes, it’s hard to know what to expect. It’s amazing how all of these grapes work together in perfect harmony. I was totally shocked at the how different this wine is from anything else I’ve ever had. It’s full of honeysuckle, lavender and stone fruit but the palate has this zingy, lemony and peach acidity while still having a rich, full body and honeycomb backbone. Drink one now and grab another for the cellar!
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini
Review Date: 2-22-2015
I don’t like to compare Assyrtiko because it is such a unique grape, but as a point of reference if you like Sancerre with a little extra mid-palate weight, you would love the Santo. The nose is zesty, waxy and flinty, and the palate has mouthwatering acidity while still having a plusher texture with notes of lemon and lime zest, fresh fennel, rosemary and salinity. Just a quick warning, this wine may encourage you to buy a ticket to Santorini after a few glasses.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart WS 91 BC 0

2013 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini
Review Date: 2-22-2015
I have always been a huge fan of this wine, it’s crisp and juicy and perfect for crustaceans, but this vintage somehow manages to be even more complex and serious. The nose is showing notes of roasted hazelnuts and honeysuckle while the palate is citrusy and juicy with a fantastic weight and texture and flavors of beeswax, lemon zest and sea salt. Pair with shellfish or grilled white fish.

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