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 Les Chancelieres Vouvray
Review Date: 06-28-2015
This is pure old vine Chenin Blanc, no residual sugar, completely dry, and just perfect to have around the house for so many different meals. Refreshing acidity, chalky minerality, full bodied and full of stone fruit with a fantastic orange zest finish. This is my new go-to white.
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Les Ligeriens Rosé d'Anjou
Review Date: 06-28-2015
Although first I was skeptical due to the slight amount of RS in this wine, I now LOVE this rosé!! Perfect for just sipping or alternatively, awesome with food with a little spice. Lovely notes of exotic melon, strawberry and rose petal coupled with high acid, salinity and that hint of RS.
Price: $8.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Maison Idiart Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Review Date: 06-28-2015
Bright and refreshing, this is a must have for your summer parties. Lovely zippy citrus, lemongrass, mouthwatering acidity accompanied by a nice full texture. Try it with seafood or potentially something richer like seafood risotto.
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Maison Idiart Blanc de Blanc Brut
Review Date: 06-26-2015
I love this elegant and clean bubbly from the Loire Valley. It’s full of lovely lemon citrus, baked apple, minerality and frothy bubbles that cheer up your mouth and mind! Perfect for every occasion.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Hubert Veneau Côteaux du Giennois Rosé
Review Date: 06-25-2015
This rosé shows how Gamay and Pinot can work together in harmony. Lovely notes of spice, forest floor and a strong backbone of minerality work together with this wine's juicy acidity and crunchy cranberry fruits. Perfect for roast chicken or turkey.
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Domaine Dupré Regnié "Haute Ronze"
Review Date: 06-18-2015
Not your typical Beaujolais due to the old vines the fruit is sourced from, contributing to this Gamay's darker fruits and mineral-driven backbone. There are still minimal tannins and a bright, lifted feel of acidity. I prefer to put a slight chill on this bottle and kick back on the patio.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List
AG 91

2014 Domaine la Colombe Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-17-2015
A whole lot of wine here for 12 bucks. The nose has aromas of rose water, cherry and melon, while the palate has notes of peaches, melon, and cherry. The finish shows pith, cobblestone minerality and Herbs de Provence. A bright, lean yet glycerol rosé perfect for the summer.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé 1.5L
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Juicy melon, bright cherry, blood orange and mouthwatering acidity. Perfect for that summer heat!
Price: $32.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé (375ml)
Review Date: 06-16-2015
Juicy melon, bright cherry, blood orange and mouthwatering acidity. Perfect for that summer heat!
Price: $7.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Kalinda "Rawiri Vineyard" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 06-13-2015
A lovely Pinot Noir from an esteemed Kiwi producer showing perfect balance and bright lift, making this Pinot perfect for any occasion. The nose has aromas of dark cherry and a hint of smoke while the palate shows notes of blackberry, juicy cherry and refreshing acidity balanced by light and integrated tannins. Pick up a case for the summer or your next party, it’s sure to please the crowd.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Lucien Crochet Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 06-08-2015
This continues to be one of my favorite rosés every year, and the 2014 is no exception. Beautiful notes of lemon rind, crushed roses, and a salty, chalk minerality that’s like licking a rock from the ocean floor.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Salomon Undhof Hochterrassen Grüner Veltliner
Review Date: 06-08-2015
Certainly my new favorite Gruner Veltliner! It’s fresh and bright with crisp acidity, juicy lemon, and an awesome flinty character. Perfect as an aperitif or with roast chicken, pork or light soups!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 06-04-2015
A fuller, plusher style of the typically restrained Napanook with notes of plums, dried figs and dates, and coffee grounds. Big and bold, this vintage is sure to age for years, even decades to come.

2014 Schäfer-Fröhlich Blanc de Noir
Review Date: 06-01-2015
Delicate and elegant, yet full of nuance. At first sight this wine would trick you as a white wine, with an ever so faint tint. The palate expresses lemon zest, tangerine, and nectarine with tons of pretty pith and minerality. The bright acidity to this wine would make it a great companion to seafood!
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Zafeirakis Rosé Thessaly
Review Date: 05-31-2015
Young winemaker Christos Zafeirakis has worked over the past few vintages to revive the indigenous grape of Greece, Limniona, which has almost disappeared with the planting of international varieties. This charming rose is made of 100% Limniona and expresses a unique character of white flowers, melon, thyme, and minerality. This would pair harmoniously with pheasant, chicken or pork simply grilled and bring out the savory characteristics of this wine.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 05-27-2015
I love how this California Cabernet is so balanced and elegant!! The nose has aromas of blackberries, spice box and cocoa. On the palate blackberries and plums dominate the fruit character, while there is core of earth, graphite and coffee grounds. Best Cabernet for under $30.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 92 WE 90

2014 Domaine de Reuilly Pinot Gris Rosé
Review Date: 05-27-2015
The color is so light, almost like lemon juice, it doesn’t even look like rose. This wine is delicate and has so much elegance. Aromas of melon, white flowers and crushed stones lead to a flinty palate with nectarines and beautiful acidity. With air, this wine will continue to unfold. Always one of the top rosés of the season.
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Haut-Monplaisir "Tradition" Cahors
Review Date: 05-22-2015
Cahors, the home of the original Malbec. Much different than the plush Malbecs of Argentina, this French Malbec is bit more earthy, mineral driven and balanced. Aromas of violets, slate, and the slightest hint of barnyard. The palate provides fresh blackberries, plums and graphite, with plenty of acidity and a fine integrated tannin. Try it with stews and red meat.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 05-22-2015
Juicy melon, bright cherry, blood orange and mouthwatering acidity. Perfect for that summer heat!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine Begude Chardonnay "Terroir 11300" IGP Haute Vallée de l'Aude
Review Date: 05-20-2015
If you are interested in trying French Chardonnay, this is where you should start. The ‘terroir’ is bright, fresh and clean, showing no obvious oak influence. Aromas of white flowers, pears and chalky minerality lead to rich but not heavy palate of apples and lemon with lifting acidity and a dry finish.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

West Cork 10 Year Old Single Malt Irish Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 05-20-2015
This is some serious whiskey for less than $40. The nose is full of complexity; malted barley, spice and some fruit showing through. The palate is rich and spicy with notes of roasted chestnuts, raw cane sugar, allspice and nutmeg. Not sure how they are selling this for only $37 but happy there are!
Price: $36.99 Add To Waiting List

West Cork Original Classic Blend Irish Whiskey 750ml
Review Date: 05-20-2015
A fantastic, easy going Irish whiskey to have around the house for making cocktails but also soft enough to drink straight at the end of the evening! New favorite for under $30!
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

Rey Fernando de Castilla "Antique" Palo Cortado Jerez (500ml)
Review Date: 05-20-2015
The Rey Fernando de Castilla Palo Cortado is over 30 years of average age with both tremendous aromatics and flavors. Aromas of cocoa, roasted chestnuts, tiramisu, and nutmeg beam from the glass. The palate is bright at first, showing it’s years aged under flor with a beautifully tangy acidity, lemon rind and burnt orange peel. The palate turns to flavors of almonds, mocha and espresso on the finish. Potentially the finest example of Palo Cortado that exists. A must try bottle for Sherry lovers. Oh and properly stored, this bottle will keep well once opened for a couple of months.
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 93 WS 92

2014 Holzapfel "Pink" Rosé Wachau
Review Date: 05-08-2015
Made from 100% Zweigelt, this rosé has a gorgeous deep pink color full of earth, minerality and herbs. A fun, interesting and delicious rosé for those who are adventurous.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Josef Leitz Pinot Noir Rosé
Review Date: 05-08-2015
Full of melon and rose petal with refreshing, mouthwatering acidity, this rosé is perfect for a hot summer day or fantastic with charcuterie or poultry.
Price: $15.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 05-03-2015
Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a bottle of Insolite and a dozen oysters. This wine is made for fresh seafood, especially oysters. This Sancerre is truly special 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: $23.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Franck Millet Sancerre Blanc
Review Date: 05-03-2015
We are lucky enough to have the pleasure of direct importing this amazing producer and are able to provide a stunning Sancerre for under $20 because of it. Thanks to a warm and dry September, the 2014 vintage is ripe while still maintaining freshness and acidity. Beautiful palate of orange creamsicle, lemon juice and cobblestone minerality is sure to mean many empty bottles at my home throughout the summer months!
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Allram Grüner Veltliner (1L)
Review Date: 04-10-2015
Ah the classic Austrian table wine in a liter bottle with an easy access crown cap, making for the perfect party wine! This Gruner is full of citrus: lemon, grapefruit, orange and hints of apple and pear with juicy, mouthwatering acidity, perfect for the heat!
Price: $10.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Clot de l'Origine "Le P'tit Barriot" Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 04-10-2015
Being a red from the Roussillon you might be under the impression this wine will be too big and overly ripe or baked fruits might show through. Well you are wrong, this wine was made with restraint and elegance. Aromas of sea salt, cured meats, white flowers, pine, and graphite emanate from the glass. The palate has notes of black pepper, bark, organic earth, dark cherry and minerality. It has just the right balance of structure and fine tannins to make this wine perfectly drinkable now!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Clot de l'Origine Macabeu "Le P'tit Barriot" VDF Blanc
Review Date: 04-10-2015
While this is one of their whites that does not see extended skin contact, it certainly still has some of those qualities. The nose is very expressive showing salinity, bitter almonds, fennel, and lemon. The palate is light yet creamy, with notes of apple, pear and tons of minerality... it’s like licking wet cobblestone and limestone, I’m in love!!!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

1996 Tobermory 18 Year Old K&L Exclusive Old Particular (Douglas Laing) Single Barrel Single Malt Whisky 750ml
Review Date: 03-27-2015
This K&L exclusive bottling comes from Tobermory’s unpeated stocks but still shows earthy and savory characteristics. A nose of toffee, salt and nuts combine with a palate of malt, sea salt and herbs makes for one of my favorite whiskies of the year!
Price: $109.99 Add To Waiting List

1993 Schloss Schönborn Rüdesheimer Berg Schlossberg Riesling Auslese
Review Date: 03-20-2015
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: Hidden View Price

2013 Dreissigacker Riesling Trocken
Review Date: 03-20-2015
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 Waiting List

2006 Fourcas Dupré, Listrac
Review Date: 03-19-2015
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 Waiting List

2013 Kalinda Yountville Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 03-19-2015
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 Waiting List

2012 Beck-Hartweg "F" Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-11-2015
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 Waiting List

2010 Le Petit Saint Vincent "Cres-cen-do" Saumur Champigny
Review Date: 03-11-2015
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 Waiting List

2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Rouge
Review Date: 03-01-2015
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 Waiting List

2013 Charles Trosset Mondeuse "Harmonie" Vin de Savoie Arbin
Review Date: 02-27-2015
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 Waiting List

2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Blanc
Review Date: 02-26-2015
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 Waiting List

2013 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini
Review Date: 02-22-2015
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 Waiting List
WS 91

2013 Leitz Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken
Review Date: 02-16-2015
The Rudesheimer trocken shows the finesse and complexity of the GG wines Leitz produces for under $20. The nose expresses elegant notes of lemon oil and orange blossom, while the palate shows notes of Meyer lemon, savory salinity, slatey minerality and bright, crisp acidity the cuts right through any fatty food and pairs perfectly with seafood. I love these wines, they represent exceptional quality dry Riesling for such a steal!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

2011 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 02-16-2015
Pure, unadulterated Sangiovese. Herbaceous expressions of rosemary and sage, sultry fruit like dark plum, black currant and cherry, coupled with leather, meat and organic earth make for a incredibly elegant and complex rosso that will transport you to Italy.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90

2011 Maison Angelot Mondeuse Bugey
Review Date: 02-16-2015
This Mondeuse has so much character and complexity! I absolutely love the beautiful aromatics of bramble, bark and herbs intertwined with great fruits like crunchy cranberry and bright cherry. The wine is quite light in body with tons of acidity, medium tannin, minerality and bright red fruits.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 02-08-2015
The spellbound chardonnay shows incredible depth and balance at a fantastic value. The nose is full of pears, baked apples, and just a hint of lees and toasty notes. The palate provides incredible balance between acid and a richness while having notes of white peach, pear and vanilla.
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Prager "Hinter der Burg" Grüner Veltliner Federspiel Wachau
Review Date: 02-04-2015
Often times, I find some Gruner Veltliner to be too stemmy or bitter, but the Prager manages to be incredibly well balanced while still having all those classic Gruner characteristics. Aromas of savory green peas, arugula, white peach and pear dominate the nose while orange blossom, tangerine, zest and a slight white pepper spice express the palate. With a fuller, rounded body and great acidity, this wine should be in every Gruner lover’s wine fridge.
Price: $34.99 Add To Waiting List

2011 Bott-Geyl "Les Eléments" Riesling
Review Date: 02-03-2015
This is their introductory dry Riesling, and a steal for under $20. This Riesling is bright and zesty with notes of lemon curd, lime zest and meringue. Enticing acidity, orange zest, white peaches, salinity and minerality shine through the palate with a steely, spicy finish.
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Domaine de la Chevalerie "Bretêche" Bourgueil
Review Date: 02-01-2015
Some people are often turned off by Cabernet Franc because of the green, vegetal characteristics that tend to dominate. But this is a cab franc everyone can get down with. Very clean and elegant, with beautiful finesse you so often get from places like Bourgueil. Notes of violets, pine, slate and iron, it’s all earth but with none of the funky green notes. Absolutely spectacular.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 91

2013 Philippe Tessier Cheverny Blanc
Review Date: 02-01-2015
This Cheverny Blanc left us wondering why more winemakers don’t use funky blends like this one. The Cheverny Blanc consists of Sauvignon Blanc blended with Chardonnay and Menu Pineau, not something you see every day, but the result is spectacular. The key to this wine is its intense minerality found throughout. The aromas are that of sea salt, melon, apple, citrus fruits and wet stone. It is very bright and high in acidity, but with a resounding mid-palate weight making for a rounder wine. Nectarines, peaches, blood orange and lemon curd come across on the palate with a back bone of salinity, crushed slate, and herbs.
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Philippe Tessier "Le Point du Jour" Cheverny Rouge
Review Date: 02-01-2015
70% Pinot Noir and 30% Gamay. There is a certain aromatic quality to this wine that I am constantly searching for in red wines. It's a quality I often have trouble describing, little fruits of the forest, describes it perfectly; the random nameless berries and fruits that grow on bushes. It's not just the fruits, but also the bushes, the bramble, the flowers, the forest itself. It has aromas of pine cones, bark, the elusive fruits that I can only relate to cranberry and crab apples, dirt, wet stone, rose petals and violets, but it doesn't end there. There are spices like cardamom, clove and thyme. It’s light in body, with high acidity and just the right amount of tannins to hold its structure. On the palate there is plenty of crushed peppercorn, rosemary, iron and slate-like minerality. This is a glass of wine I never want to put down.
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

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