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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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

2012 Charles Baur Eichberg Riesling Grand Cru
Review Date: 12-4-2014
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 stone 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

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.

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

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