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 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.

2011 Dog Point Chardonnay Marlborough
Review Date: 9-5-2014
The 2011 Chardonnay needs a little air to open up, but patience will reward you with a nose of toasty, brioche, toasted hazelnuts and a hint of pineapples. The palate is bright and forward with notes of apple, white peach, lemon zest and white pepper. Enjoy with chicken dishes or charcuterie.

2012 Domaine les Grands Bois "Cuvée Maximilien" Côtes du Rhône-Villages Cairanne
Review Date: 9-3-2014
What a stellar, beautiful Cotes du Rhone. Its elegant deep purple color is reflected on the nose and the palate with evident notes of fresh violets. The nose is full of minerality, like fresh dirt and wet stones. The wine’s soft, round texture takes over your taste buds with notes of fresh ground pepper, blackberry juice, cloves and a sultry chocolate finish. Easily my favorite Cote du Rhone this season.

2012 Oakridge Single Vineyard Series "Oakridge/Whitsend Vineyard" Shiraz Yarra Valley
Review Date: 9-3-2014
A Shiraz that will leave you wondering why they didn’t label it Syrah. A very classic expression of cold weather Syrah such as Northern Rhone. Full of baking spices, black pepper, blood orange and a slightly vegetal palate of carrots and tomatoes. An outstanding, complex Shiraz out of the Yarra Valley, very impressive!
Price: $22.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2012 Mount Trio Estate Riesling Porongurup Western Australia
Review Date: 9-3-2014
Oysters, clams, ceviche!!! This Riesling is perfect for any fresh or raw seafood! The nose of that classic petrol but the palate provides bracing acidity and salinity, a perfect crisp, dry Riesling for seafood.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart JH 94 BC 0

2013 Pascal Janvier "Cuvée du Rosier" Coteaux du Loir Rouge
Review Date: 9-3-2014
An absolutely spectacular expression of Pineau d'Aunis. Extremely terroir-driven; you can taste the forest in this wine. An elegant nose of eucalyptus, tea leaf and cranberry. The palate is well balanced and delicate, yet powerful with flavors of forest floor, cedar, black liquorice, and crunchy, brambly fruits.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Sittella Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon Margaret River Western Australia
Review Date: 9-3-2014
What a well-done blend. I want to drink this wine all day, everyday in the hot LA sun. It’s crisp and dry with great acidity! It’s bursting with zesty, juicy citrus fruits like lemon oil and lime zest but still has excellent minerality like wet stone and some notes of white blossom. A focused a linear wine, for quite a steal due to our direct import price.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

La Cigarrera Manzanilla Sanlucar de Barrameda (375ml)
Review Date: 8-27-2014
A true Manzanilla with a bouquet full of oysters, clams and salted toffee. A flavor intense palate of oceanic salt and seaweed, peanut butter, bitter almonds and squash. Impeccable quality, a crazy value. What a steal!!!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

El Maestro Sierra Fino Jerez de la Frontera (375ml)
Review Date: 8-27-2014
At this stage, this delicate Fino has subtle notes of pecans, fresh apples, pie crust, and toasted pumpkin seeds with a mildly salty palate of butterscotch, almonds and bitter orange peel. Great companion to a tomato, basil salad!

2012 Louis-Antoine Luyt Carignan "Trequilemu" Maule Valley
Review Date: 7-28-2014
If you like earthy, dirty, mineral-driven wines, this is the wine for you. I adore this Carignan, it’s very green with notes of bell pepper and jalapenos, scorched earth, iron and forest floor. The winemaker, a native Burgundian whose vineyards are still plowed by horse, uses a very hands-off approach, producing natural wines that are complex and terroir-driven. This is definitely my Chilean favorite.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2012 Raccaro Malvasia Collio
Review Date: 7-28-2014
What a complex and well-done Malvasia! The Roccaro boasts notes of Fuji apples and honeysuckle with a brightness and crisp acidity coming across on the palate with zesty lemon rind notes balanced by a waxy texture and some sweeter stone fruits. An absolutely beautiful expression of Malvasia.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "Nr.7" Sauvignon Blanc Sondagskloof
Review Date: 7-14-2014
I adore this winery, they farm biodynamic, ensuring their estate is lined with indigenous flowers, plants and animals adding to their unique terroir. With high elevation for a cooler climate and a unique topsoil called "fynbos," which gives their wines a distinct vegetal, black olive quality, this Sauv Blanc is killer. It’s more reminiscent of cool weather Sauv Blanc, with crisp acidity, zesty citrus fruits like orange and lime but with a unique green nose with hints of jalapeno, black olive and lemon rind. An excellent, well-done wine, a must-have for 2013.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Hermanuspietersfontein (HPF) "Nr.3 Bergblokke" Sauvignon Blanc Sondagskloof
Review Date: 7-13-2014
The #3 Sauvignon Blanc is their version of a more tropical style Sauv Blanc. It’s quite aromatic with white flower, kiwi and grapefruit and tropical flavors on the palate like passion fruit, honeydew and lemon zest. A very bright, flavor intensive Sauv Blanc with lovely acidity, perfect for those hot summer days.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 7-11-2014
I have to admit I was expecting something a little fruitier and rounder after tasting the 2012 vintage, but the 2013 is excellent. It’s really well balanced, adding a little earth, spice and tannins. There’s an excellent leafy, brambly quality to this wine that I love, integrated into the cranberry, black cherry and raspberry fruits. A great Pinot and a great vintage from TWR.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart BC 0

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