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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2014 Domaine Aurélien Verdet Nuits-St-Georges 1er Cru "Les Damodes"
Review Date: 06-26-2017
Premier cru "Les Damondes" for $60, yes please!! This was my favorite of the Verdet line-up, it has power and potential for age, but also drinks great now with some decanting. This wine unveiled itself with elegance and finesse. It becomes aromatic with notes of flowers and berry fruit and a palate of cherry and a hint of herbs and game. It's hard to find value wines in Burgundy, but this is it, a true value!
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart
WS 94

2016 Domaine de Rimauresq Côtes de Provence Cru Classé Rosé
Review Date: 06-13-2017
This is the perfect choice for those who are looking for classic Provence style rose, with that super mineral-driven quality. This has flavors of chalk, wet river rocks, rose petals, yet with a soft, rich texture that adds a layer of complexity.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
DC 97

2015 Domaine Les Pins "Les Rochettes" Bourgueil
Review Date: 06-01-2017
Les Pins is a small producer out of Bourgueil, in the Loire Valley, a small region you may never have heard of, but ought to pay attention to. It is the neighboring region to the famous Chinon. I find the wines of Bourgueil to be a bit more pretty, less fleshy and more structured - and typically of greater value. The "Les Rochettes" is no exception, perfumed with notes of violets, sage and blackberry which leads into a palate of tilled earth, red plums, raspberries and a thread of black pepper. This medium-bodied, lifted red pairs perfectly with pork loin, mushroom based dished, and even game meats.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2016 Skouras Moscofilero Péloponnèse
Review Date: 05-11-2017
I love wines made from indigenous Greek varietals especially when producers like Georges Skouras take care and attention to work with these varietals and develop their complexity. The Skouras is an incredible example of how the best Moscofilero can be delicate and ethereal, while still having loads of personality. This wine is aromatic, with notes of rose petal and flint jumping from the glass. Flavors of lychee, nectarine and sea salt are backed by a core of slate-like minerality. The aromas and flavors of this wine are perfect for outdoor occasions. Whether it's the park, by the sea or the back patio, this bottle pairs perfectly with good weather and great company.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2010 Famille Perrin "Domaine du Clos des Tourelles" Gigondas
Review Date: 05-11-2017
A solid example of Gigondas, with notes of cloves, licorice, lilacs and berry fruit, this has some rustic tannins and a fuller body. This can pair lovely with pork shanks and steak alike.

1995 Glen Garioch 20 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 04-30-2017
The John Milroy bottling of Glen Garioch is quite elegant and insanely complex. The different aromas and flavors just go on forever. Fresh fennel, candied orange peel and lemongrass jump from the glass while on the palate notes of candied lemon peel, mint and sugar cookie come through. A stunning single malt.
Price: $119.99 Add To Cart

2013 Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-28-2017
On the nose are alluring notes of black currants, cassis and sweet cocoa along with hints of fresh vanilla. The intense dark, concentrated fruit on the mouth-coating mid-palate misleads you into thinking that this wine is going to be massive and extracted but this Cab is exquisitely balanced. The intensity, focus and concentration of fruit is what takes this Napa Valley Cabernet from being simple AVA wine to excelling over those that are even single vineyard expressions. Just grab a steak and a wine glass and you're ready for a great evening.

2014 Gerard Bertrand Corbieres
Review Date: 04-27-2017
I was pleasantly surprised by the elegance of this Corbieres. It has the perfumed floral notes of violets and lilacs that remind me of wines from places like Gigondas. Concentrated flavors of blackberries, cassis and anise and a juicy mouthfeel, this red blend is an excellent value to stock up on for any occasion.
Price: Hidden View Price
WS 90

2008 Domaine Baud Vin Jaune Château-Chalon (620ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Complex and layered with savory suggestions of macadamia nuts, raw mushrooms, sea salt and cider. It’s expressive in its youth, with the potential to age longer than white Burgundy. Grab a bottle for your next Japanese or Korean dinner and another to slip into the cellar.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Baud "Ancestral" Côtes du Jura Rouge
Review Date: 04-19-2017
This Trousseau blend embodies the distinct earthiness the wines in this region can exude. This wine is aromatic, like walking through a forest, with aromas of crunchy berries, pine and fallen leaves. With one sip you can taste cherry, clove, cured meats and graphite while enjoying bright acidity, a medium body and soft tannins. Pair this unique red with roasted duck or game bird.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Year after year, this is one of my go-to French Sauvignon Blancs. The 2016 is showing minerality and restraint. Still the same bright, juicy high acid, balanced by notes of white nectarine, lemon zest and even a little tropical fruit. The texture is rich and supple with a long, zesty finish.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2006 Mortlach 10 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2017
Mortlach continues to be one of my favorite single malts, especially this unique John Milroy bottling. The Mortlach has an ever so faint note of smokiness and cured meats. It has an elegant balance of lemon zest and green apple with some more funky notes of petrol and charcoal. This is an incredibly complex single malt that has nuances that last for days.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2009 Gitton Père & Fils "Galinot" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-26-2017
These days, it's a rarity to find back vintage Sancerre. We are used to drinking Sancerre that is meant to drink with immediacy. But aged Sancerre is so remarkable and such a different experience to young Sancerre. Nearing a decade of age, the 'Galinots' from Gitton is epic. Once of the great, classic producers of Sancerre, proving that back-vintage Sancerre is incredible. You'll find notes of apples, white flowers and honey, with this beautiful waxy texture, surrounded by flavors of almonds and dried herbs. This is drinking beautifully now, and has the structure to last many more years to come.
Price: $56.99 Add To Cart

2015 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 03-23-2017
This is everything you want from rich, Argentine Malbec. Juicy acidity, blackberry compote, black plums, cocoa and sweet blueberry. Ripe with soft with supple tannins this Malbec is great for all your BBQ needs.

2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir Baden
Review Date: 03-23-2017
German Pinot Noir is some of the most underrated Pinot in the world. Germany produces Pinot with terroir, elegance and fruit for values not seen in other regions. Most of the Salwey vineyards are planted on volcanic soils in Baden which lends itself to aromas of smoke, savory meat and violets. The palate brings through flavors of plums, game and graphite. There is beautiful acidity and a finish that never ends. Enjoy with game birds or lamb.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Gitton Père & Fils "Montachins" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-17-2017
Aromas of flint and pepper with flavors of lemon, stoney minerality and searing acidity. Bright and lean, this will pair great with seafood. This is serious Sancerre that will develop into something even more special in a few years.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2010 Anderson's Conn Valley "Eloge" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 03-14-2017
This is an incredibly ethereal, balanced California Bordeaux blend. You will find aromas of black currents, tobacco and fresh cracked black pepper on the nose. The palate provides flavors of black plum, savory cooked meat and blackberry. There is a fruit purity with a thread of earth, loads of acidity and fine tannin structure. Simply, beautiful.
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 93

2014 Argyle "Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-09-2017
The beauty of Willamette shines through in this Pinot with aromas of smoke and violets. The palate provides a mix of crunchy red fruits and dark fruits with lovely tobacco spice, slate-like minerality and spice.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 JS 92

2014 Château Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec
Review Date: 03-09-2017
Floral and dark , this wine is enticing and sexy with aromas of lavender and blueberry compote that reel you into a palate of violets, cassis, black pepper and coffee. Soft, integrated tannins and a fresh acidity provides lift and balance. This is one great value to keep around the house.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 93

2009 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-08-2017
Bonville is always one of my favorite Champagne producers. The 2009 Millesime shows its vintage with immediate drinkability, richness, and soft bubbles. Notes of brioche and caramel are accompanied by flavors of pear, apple and fresh minerality. Grab a couple of bottles because this one will go down fast,
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-17-2017
I love how this Cabernet is so balanced and elegant yet still provides the weight that you want from Cali Cab!! The nose has aromas of cassis, spice box and coconut. On the palate flavors of blackberries with a core of graphite, bitter chocolate and coffee grounds. One of the best Cabs under $30.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Clos Saint Jean "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 02-05-2017
The Clos Saint Jean Chateanueuf is not for the faint of heart. This wine has power and persistence. It is quite young and would cellar well, but is also surprisingly expressive in its youth. Aromas of blueberry compote, rhubarb, lavender, and clove pop from the glass. Flavors of blackberry jam, star anise, and cassis are surrounded by structure, and power. Enjoy with a hearty oxtail stew!

2014 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-27-2017
This is beautiful terroir-driven, French-style Chardonnay that exudes elegance. It is a clean, pure expression of Chardonnay from Willamette with aromas of fennel and white flowers, and flavors of pith, wet stones, almonds and white nectarines. And you get all of that ethereal beauty for under $30.

2014 Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas
Review Date: 01-12-2017
Cote du Rhone lovers rejoice! This is village level CDR for under $20 and absolutely delicious. Aromas of dark cherry, white flowers and meat jump from the glass while flavors of raspberry, blackberry and graphite come through on the palate with soft integrated tannins that wrap around your mouth like silk. This bottle is sure to impress your friends so keep a few around the house.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

1987 Domaine du Cardinat 28 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Bas Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-09-2017
The 1987 is the lightest of the three vintages, showing a bit more elegant and ethereal. Aromas of white flowers and almonds with a palate of roasted walnuts, dried apricots, szechuan peppercorn with a finish that is dry and structured.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2015 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 01-06-2017
An eternal staff favorite, the "Insolite" returns for another incredible vintage. This vintage is truly special and extremely mineral driven, with tons of chalky minerality, crushed limestone, lemon zest and refreshing salinity. The Insolite has more mid-palate weight than his basic Sancerre Blanc coupled with crisp acidity, which makes it perfect for shellfish but easy enough to drink on its own.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Sylvain Gaudron "La Butte du Trésor" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 01-06-2017
Year after year this is one of the best valued dry Vouvray offered. It delivers all the things you want from Chenin Blanc, high acid and opulent weight plus more ripe notes of peach skin, white nectarine and jasmine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Dugois Ploussard Arbois Rouge
Review Date: 01-06-2017
Ploussard is a little known varietal from the Jura that is light and elegant but provides so much character. This is a varietal the deserves more attention. It's lighter than Pinot but full of character. The nose has aromas of bramble, tea leaf, smoke and spices. The palate provides flavors of crunchy fruits like cranberry intertwined with savory, meaty components. It is bright and lifted but has game and earth too. It's beautiful with a slight chill on it as well. Next time you're looking for a light red, skip Pinot and impress your friends with Dugois Ploussard.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2009 Roederer Estate "L'Ermitage" Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 12-21-2016
The 'L'Ermitage' is a sparkling wine that can truly stand amongst Champagne. Lightly autolytic aromas of bruised apples and caramel lead to soft, moussey palate of quince, yellow apples, and a hint of cherry on the finish. What and delicious and impressive California sparkler.
Price: $45.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 W&S 90

Ohishi "'K&L Exclusive"' Single Sherry Cask #1023 Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-15-2016
What I love about the Ohishi is the combination of the beautiful texture you get from distilled rice and the wonderful balance of sherry characteristics imparted from aging in sherry barrels. Aromas of white flowers and almonds lead to a soft palate of cocoa, almond skins, toasted walnuts, and raisins.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2015 Malat "Furth-Palt" Grüner Veltliner Kremstal
Review Date: 12-03-2016
Bright, zippy, fresh peeled lemon zest, prickly pears and white pepper make this zingy Gruner perfect to have around the house for parties and friends.
Price: Hidden View Price

2015 Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch (Müller-Burggraef) Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett Mosel
Review Date: 12-01-2016
Classic notes of honeycomb and smoke turn to flavors of crunchy apples, exotic fruits like Asian pears and star fruit, and ginger and exotic spices. There is loads of texture and a long, mouthwatering finish that leaves you wanting more.

2015 Schmelz Pichl Point Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachau
Review Date: 11-17-2016
This is not your juicy, easy going liter bottle of Gruner, this is serious Gruner Veltliner. This is a powerful, rich Gruner with lots of acid and lots of potential to age. Exotic spices, green peas, Asian pears, and stone fruit dance on your palate. Grab a few for Thanksgiving dinner and add a bottle to the cellar to try in 10 years, if you can wait that long.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2015 Schmelz Steinriegl Riesling Smaragd Wachau
Review Date: 11-17-2016
The single vineyard Riesling from the Steinriegl vineyard comes from one of the few sites in Wachau that has special limestone silicate marble soils which Riesling thrives in. This terroir driven wine is aromatically captivating with notes of Meyer lemon, orange blossom, and beeswax beaming from the glass. On the palate, notes of river stones, white nectarine and chalk are coupled with racy acid, full body and a long, dry finish. This Riesling is gorgeous, and had the whole staff enamored.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart

2015 Schmelz Stein am Rain Riesling Federspiel Wachau
Review Date: 11-17-2016
In Austria, Gruner Veltliner seems to get all the spotlight, but don't forget that Austria makes some exquisite, dry Riesling. This is Johann's entry level Riesling coming from the vineyard of Stein Am Rain that has alluvial and sandy soils which Rieslings does great in. This dry, juicy Riesling shows notes of honeysuckle, lemon, white peach and salinity. While there is great acid on this wine, the 2015 vintage provides this wine with big body and texture to balance.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-16-2016
Not over ripe, jammy or too high in alcohol, this is a beautifully balanced Zinfandel. Cassis, figs, plums, berries and baking spice coat your palate with juicy acidity and soft, rich texture. This is elegant Paso Zin!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$19.99

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2016
We have been working with Aspasie for years, as they were our first direct import Champagne producer. Their wine continues to be of the highest quality, making it the best value Champagne in the store. Year after year, the rosé is my favorite rosé in the store. With flavors of black cherry, ripe cranberry, rosemary and an earthier backbone, this rose is beautiful both as an aperitif and especially fantastic with food. Try it with a roast duck or heavier fish like salmon or tuna steak.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-13-2016
The whole lineup of Charles Ellner blew us away with complexity and elegance all around. The Carte d’Or is my favorite of the bottlings. It is a little different from your typical Brut Champagne, they intentionally hold back malolactic fermentation making for a Champagne with loads of character. There are flavors of nuts, minerals and fino sherry, balanced with notes of white nectarine, cranberry and a hint of caramelized apples. This is an incredibly complex Champagne for under $35 a bottle.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

Cruz Vieja Viña Roble Amontillado Jerez
Review Date: 10-01-2016
Cruz Vieja makes some of the most intricate, complex wines of the region, with such attention to detail and care for every step of the process. This Amontillado is elegant and complexly layered with flavor. It is extremely aromatic, revealing notes of hazelnuts, white flowers and bitter cocoa with flavors of salt, honey, roasted almonds and a long finish. Food pairings are endless with this wine, anything from olives to artichokes, to cured meats, to even heavier meats like pork or lamb.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
RP 91 WS 90

2015 Robert Cantin "Les Grezes" Pinot Noir Vin de France
Review Date: 08-21-2016
It is a constant battle trying to find a Pinot Noir for an affordable price that is worth drinking. 2014 was the first vintage that I had tried, and the 2015 is just as incredible if not better than the last vintage. Coming from the chalky soils of the Loire valley near Sancerre, this Pinot is elegant. Aromas of crush flower and violets lead to a palate with lift and acidity, and notes of plum, currants and graphite, this red is perfect for every occasion. Look no further for your everyday Pinot.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Robert Sérol "Cabochard" Côte Roannaise Rosé (Gamay)
Review Date: 08-21-2016
This is an incredibly beautiful rosé from start to finish, even the color is this gorgeous, almost blood orange color. Aromas of cantaloupe, melon and rose petals lead to flavors of blood orange, white nectarine, wet stones and a hint of strawberry. The finish is long and persistent coupled with almost a waxy texture that balances out the acidity. The perfect rosé for simply poolside sipping while also being complex enough for serious food pairings.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Heinrich Spindler Riesling Trocken (Dry) Pfalz
Review Date: 08-15-2016
Shows aromas of almond blossom and quince, and flavors of apricot, wet stones and salt water complemented by mouthwatering acidity and a long, dry finish. This the perfect wine to refresh your palate on a hot summer day, accompanied by some sushi.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 Heinrich Spindler Pechstein Riesling Trocken (dry) Grosse Lage Pfalz
Review Date: 08-15-2016
Fermented entirely in stainless steel, the Pechstein is elegant and concentrated, with aromas of smoke, chalk and red fruits like tart cherry plums. The waxy texture of the wine captivates your palate and wraps it in flavors of white peach, white cherry and a finish of white flowers.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart

2015 Eric Cottat Sancerre
Review Date: 07-22-2016
I always love the Cottat Sancerre, this vintage it has a wonderful balance of fruit and minerality. Aromas of flint, white flowers and yellow Mirabelle plums burst from the glass to lead you into an elegant palate of crushed stone, orange blossom and lemon peel with juicy acidity.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2012 Nicolas Idiart Blanc de Blanc Brut
Review Date: 06-24-2016
My favorite vintage of the Idiart Brut yet, with flavors of nectarines and peaches, honey and a hint of brioche. There is a richness in the palate while still having bright, clean acidity. Enjoy all day, everyday with just about anything.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin 750ml
Review Date: 06-23-2016
The Navy Strength compared to the Rare Dry has more zesty notes of orange and lemon rind, lemon grass, sea salt and anise. At 118 proof, this is serious stuff that should be stocked in every cocktail enthusiast's bar.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin (750ml)
Review Date: 06-23-2016
Beautiful and bright, the Rare Dry has notes of fresh squeezed blood oranges, sweet herbs, sage, juniper and a hint of basil. It's the perfect gin for tonic or citrus heavy gin cocktails.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

2014 OENO Dry Creek Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 06-18-2016
This Oeno Cabernet is made without any new oak, providing for a fresh, bright pure expression of Cabernet. With lifted acidity and full body, this wine show flavors of cassis, blackberry, and fresh baking spice.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

Charles Baur "Emotion" Cremant d'Alsace Brut
Review Date: 06-16-2016
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 aromas without being overpowering, while yellow apples, pears, toasted walnuts and honeysuckle round out the nose. There is great mid-palate weight and texture with some brioche, apple and quince characteristics and frothy, clean bubbles with a long, lovely dry finish. The perfect accompaniment to tapas and charcuterie.
Price: Hidden View Price
WE 90

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 05-25-2016
We have been working with Aspasie for years, as they were our first direct import Champagne producer. Their wine continues to be of the highest quality, making it the best value Champagne in the store. Year after year, the rosé is my favorite rosé in the store. With flavors of black cherry, ripe cranberry, rosemary and an earthier backbone, this rose is beautiful both as an aperitif and especially fantastic with food. Try it with a roast duck or heavier fish like salmon or tuna steak.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

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