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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1975 Moulin Touchais Coteaux du Layon
Review Date: 1-29-2015
Absolutely outstanding! After 35 years this Coteaux du Layon is still racy, full of great acidity. Aromas of apricot, beeswax, petrol, bitter almonds and pith permeate from the glass. Those aromas carrying over to the palate with apricot marmalade, salted walnuts, smoked meats and honeycomb. A very impressive bottling of late harvest dessert wine, indeed.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Skouras "Salto" Moscofilero Péloponnèse
Review Date: 1-29-2015
The ‘salto’ is crisp and refreshing with tons of orange fruits and citrus, and full of herbs like lavender and rosemary and hints of slight spice like fresh fennel and arugula. Try it with roast chicken and poultry.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Gerovassiliou Malagousia Epanomi
Review Date: 1-29-2015
Malagousia, yes!!! I’m so happy this native grape was salvaged! There’s a bit of extended skin contact that allows for an beautifully aromatic nose full of matchstick, resin, crushed gravel, and yellow flowers. On the palate there’s beautifully high acid balanced by incredible weight with flavors of beeswax, almonds, and yellow apples. With such and interesting and delicious flavor profile, it’s no wonder why producers like Gerovassiliou put in massive efforts to save this grape.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart W&S 92 BC 0

2013 Musar "Jeune" White Bekaa Valley
Review Date: 1-22-2015
Such an incredible blend from an incredible producer. Aromatics that continually open up with yellow flowers, yellow apples, and nectar. The palate is complex, with notes of pineapple, peach, bitter almonds, nectarines and a pithy, tannic finish that is fantastic.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Orgo Rkatsiteli Republic of Georgia
Review Date: 1-22-2015
The nose on this this is gorgeous!!! Full of apricot, marmalade, nectar, orange blossom, nuts and apple cider, so intriguing. The palate follows through with apple skins, chestnuts, crushed wet stones, apricot and plenty, plenty more. I love the orange wines coming out of Georgia, and this one is one of my favorites. Such a small producers, doing things of course, the old fashioned way fermenting the wine in qvevris and bottling the wine without filtration. Drink more Georgian wine!!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2006 Château Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley
Review Date: 1-22-2015
Drinking this wine over the course of a day would be ideal so you can experience the constant change that occurs with air. Although a 2006, the wine is still quite young and could sit happily in a loving cellar for years to come. Certainly one of the most interesting wines I’ve ever had, in true Musar fashion. Hints of beeswax, lanolin, and fresh mussels on the nose while the palate includes apple skins, salinity, oysters, almonds and white flowers. Plus, the grapes used in this wine come from a vineyard that was never hit with phylloxera, thus have their original rootstocks, such a rarity.
Price: $46.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Charles Baur Eichberg Riesling Grand Cru
Review Date: 1-21-2015
This is a beautiful Alsatian Riesling, bursting with elegance and minerality. The nose provides aromas of pretty little white flowers, peach, nectar, apricot, and wet slate. The palate is full of beeswax and lanolin with fruits like pear and apple and a backbone of minerality like crush wet stone and slate. An absolutely gorgeous wine and a steal at $24.99.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart WE 92 BC 0

2012 Georg Albrecht Schneider "vom Rotliegenden" Niersteiner Hipping Riesling Spätlese Trocken (dry)
Review Date: 1-16-2015
I tasted this wine before I checked the price and I’m just stunned at the price tag on this wine, just an insane value. The nose is so elegant, with notes of honeysuckle, white peach, persimmon and wet stone. The first few things I noticed about the palate is the piercing acidity and beautiful full, rich body that over the next few years will integrate nicely with the flavors of peach, apricot and lemon basil. Get this stunning dry Riesling now; it should improve over the next 5 years.

2012 Trimbach Riesling
Review Date: 1-8-2015
Trimach Riesling continues to set the bar for dry Riesling. The 2012 provides aromas of orange blossom, peach and nectarine with a hint of salinity. The palate is superbly balanced, dry, and high acid while still having great weight. Flavors of lemon zest, green apple, and chalky minerality will have you reaching for this bottle every time you have seafood.

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-12-2014
An enticing nose of blueberries, blackberries, cloves and nutmeg will get you in the holiday spirit! The palate is full of black cherry, cassis, vanilla and cracked black pepper with plush tannins, great high acidity and a dry grippy finish. Drink now or allow a few years for integration.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart RP 90 BC 0

Charles Baur "Emotion" Cremant d'Alsace Brut
Review Date: 12-4-2014
Sometimes sparkling wines with no dosage are piercingly acidic but the Emotion manages to be completely dry while still maintaining balance. The nose has a touch of toasty, brioche aromas without being overpowering, while yellow apples, pears, toasted walnuts and honeysuckle round out the nose. There’s great mid-palate weight and texture with some brioche, apple and quince characteristics showing through and frothy, clean bubbles with a long, lovely dry finish. The perfect accompaniment to tapas and charcuterie!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart WE 90 BC 0

Charles Baur Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-4-2014
The sparkling rose is for more than just parties, it can certainly hold up to heavier food and cuisine. Once popped you can smell bright cherries, melon and rose petals, with an underlying salinity. The palate has cranberry and black cherry, but also has an earthy, smoky minerality and intense acidity that can easily hold up to heavier cuisine. Enjoy now.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart WE 89 BC 0

2011 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana
Review Date: 12-1-2014
Wow, what a rich, decadent wine. The nose provides some herbaceous, mineral-driven notes with plenty of black cherry, blackberry and violet to balance. The body is plush and juicy with fine, well-integrated tannins and notes of chocolate, fresh ground coffee, cherry, blueberry and cassis. A glass, maybe a bottle, of this as dessert sounds about right.

2007 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese
Review Date: 11-21-2014
What an impressive Riesling! It’s starting to come into its age by developing beautiful aromatics of petrol, honey, and orange blossom. While it does have the typical light body of the Mosel, it’s light without being thin and shows richness and complexity. The palate provide bright acidity, lemon zest, nectarine and white peach notes. This medium-sweet style can be admired on its own or paired exceptionally with spicy foods or dessert.

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

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