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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2010 Antadze Mtsvane Republic of Georgia
Review Date: 08-03-2015
This Mtsvane has a beautiful orange hue due to skin contact and aromas of apple cider, walnuts and dried apricots with salinity and kumquat on the palate. Yes, this is an “orange wine” and it’s perfect for warm weather and deserves food; try it with Mediterranean cuisine.
Price: $23.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

2014 Argyros Estate "Atlantis" White Cyclades
Review Date: 08-03-2015
Argyros Estate is a 4th generation family owned winery and they own some of the oldest vineyards on the island. This blend bursts with orange blossom, crushed stone, tangerine and white flowers. With zippy acidity and a fuller body, this wine can be drank on its own or with or with light fare.
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Hatzidakis Assyrtiko Santorini
Review Date: 08-03-2015
The Hatzidakis is 100% Assyrtiko and 100% awesome. It’s less citrus driven than some Assyrtikos can be with notes of pear, nectarine, granny smith apples, almonds and chalky minerality. Try this with grilled whole fish, simply prepared.
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
W&S 90

2013 Domaine Les Poëte Quincy
Review Date: 08-03-2015
Domaine Les Poëte is a small winery with only 6 hectares spread throughout the central vineyards of Loire. The winemaker is a chef turned sommelier turned winemaker, making a Quincy that rivals the best of Sancerre. This bottle is stellar, it had all the staff here smitten. With aromas of smoke, baked apple pie and honeysuckle, and a palate of pear, nectarine, flint and mineral-driven finish that just won’t quit. This should be your new go-to summer wine paired with fish, veggies or goat cheese.
Price: $28.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Dr. Randolf Kauer Oberweseler Oelsberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken Alte Reben
Review Date: 08-03-2015
In the upper middle Rhine valley, which is an UNESCO world heritage site, family estate Weingut Dr. Randolf Kauer farms 3.5 hectares of vines on steep slate ridden slopes. The Dr. Randolf Kauer Riesling Spatlese Trocken is truly terroir driven with aromas of lemon zest, orange blossom and pear, with a palate of tree-fruits, lemon and searing high, juicy acidity.
Price: $26.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Buchegger Gebling Riesling Kremstal
Review Date: 08-03-2015
Weingut Buchegger makes dry, stainless steel-aged Rieslings with a natural approach to farming their 10 hectares, with no pesticides or herbicides. Their Gebling Riesling shows aromas of chalk, wet stone and white flowers, while the palate has flavors of nectarine and peach and a wonderful piquant and mouthwatering acidity.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-31-2015
With the growing trend of modern-style wine in places like Brunello, I have difficulty finding wines that have all that old school earth while still maintaining fruit--it seems producers pick on one side or the other (earth or fruit). But the Fattoria dei Barbi has taken a clean Old World approach while maintaining balance and fruit. Aromas of sandalwood, leather and tar lead to a palate with a core of cherry and a hint of plum surrounded by tobacco, anise and cured meats. The tannins are well integrated and balanced with great acidity making this wine approachable to drink now but will certainly reward those who wait!

2004 Château Tirecul la Gravière "Cuvée Chateau" Monbazillac (500ml)
Review Date: 07-30-2015
Oh yeah, lusicous, unxious, sexy Monbazillac. This is an excellent alternative to Sauternes at a fantastic price point. Notes of quince, lemon oil, and fig beam from the glass with a rich palate balanced with great acid. Try this with a strong blue cheese accompanied by fig jam or with savory dishes like foie gras.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 95

2014 Domaine Cherrier Père & Fils Sancerre
Review Date: 07-22-2015
In a warmer vintage than the Loire Valley has had in a handful of years, the Cherrier expresses some fun tropical notes this vintage! Still clean with bright high acid and chalky minerality, with a touch of white star fruit, grass and guava. Juicy and delicious, stock up because bottles will empty faster than you imagine!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 07-17-2015
Yes, it back!!! Light and refreshing, hints of brioche and laser sharp acid! The perfect sparkling wine for mimosas, celebrations and any morning that ends in day!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Brooks Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 07-17-2015
On an unseasonably hot summer night in Oregon, I have fond memories of drinking this Pinot chilled, all night long. With a core of cherry and cranberry, notes of forest floor and a silky smooth finish, this Pinot will have you reaching for the bottle all night long!
Price: $22.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Georg Albrecht Schneider "vom Kalk" Riesling Trocken (dry)
Review Date: 07-17-2015
Think all Riesling is sweet? Think again! This Riesling is DRY, TROCKEN, SECO!! And it’s oh so delicious. The nose shows aromas of white flowers, chalk and tangerine. The palate is full of lemons, nectarine and stoney minerality. It’s beautifully dry and refreshing and the complexity of this wine has me in continual disbelief of its cheap price tag. What a steal! Bring a few home to keep around the house, and when someone says they don’t like Riesling, pour them a glass!
Price: $11.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Juliusspital Würzburger Silvaner Franken
Review Date: 07-17-2015
Juliusspital began their winemaking tradition 435 years ago as a monastery that made wines to support the efforts of a hospice that still exists on the property today. Today, the majority of their vineyard is planted to Silvaner, one of Germany's amazing grape varieties that doesn’t seem to make its way to the U.S. as much as it should. This bottling is particularly terroir-driven, coming from limestone soil and providing notes of yellow plum, oyster brine, and minerality. Seafood and Silvaner, yes please!
Price: $18.99 Add To Waiting List

Michel Arnould Verzenay "Reserve" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
I'm still sticker shocked at the price for this Champagne, I can't believe it's only $33. This bubbly has such complexity and elegance. The nose provides notes of apple, pith and chalky minerality while the palate is classic Verzenay with black cherry and hazelnut. The palate is rich with a beautiful creamy texture, yet this wine sees no oak. A gorgeous wine for such a steal!
Price: $32.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Drappier "Grande Sendrée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 07-15-2015
This vintage 2006 Drappier is drinking impeccably right now. Aromas of white flowers, powdered sugar, freshly baked croissants and rich Irish butter bubble up to your nose. The palate provides notes of fresh quince preserves and apricot with great weight and a long finish. While I LOVE drinking this now, I would be very interested in seeing how this bottle evolves with age!

2013 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Mâcon-Villages "Vieilles Vignes"
Review Date: 07-15-2015
This is not the extra ripe, super oaked style of Chardonnay, rather it’s incredibly balanced and full of minerality. There’s a sense of brightness with notes of Granny Smith apples, lemon zest, white peach and pronounced acidity while still maintaining a rich palate that could please those used to a richer style of Chardonnay.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Joël Taluau "Expression" St-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil
Review Date: 07-13-2015
The Joel Taluau “expression” is a beautiful example of expressive, elegant Cabernet Franc. Aromas of crushed rosemary, tarragon and black pepper interlaced with notes of violets persist on the nose. The palate provides notes of cocoa, coffee grounds, plums and iron. The tannins are fine and integrated and there is a lovely acidity that provides lift. This bottle will pair perfectly with a wide range of items such as charcuterie, salmon or lamb.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Franck Millet Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 07-11-2015
Franck Millet continues to amaze me with every vintage. The 2014 rosé is all about balance, texture and complexity. Beautiful acid without being searing, a rounded mid-palate texture to balance the acid and flavors of melon, rose petal, strawberry seeds and ripe cherry. Hard to beat at under $15.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Eric Cottat Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 07-11-2015
Melons, minerality, racy acidity and tart cherry to finish. The acid on this will make it hard to put the bottle down, it’s the new porch pounder!
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Eric Cottat Sancerre
Review Date: 07-11-2015
I always love the Cottat Sancerre as a easy going, everyday wine, but this vintage brings a whole new level of complexity. 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 Waiting List

2014 Mas de Cadenet Côtes de Provence Blanc
Review Date: 07-10-2015
Decidedly my new favorite white, this wine is made from 100% Rolle and is quite unique. Yellow fruits like quince and yellow plum burst from the glass, followed by nectarine and pith. While there is plenty of acid in this wine, the texture is gorgeous, both waxy and oily with a long satisfying finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Clos de l'Anhel "Lolo de l'Anhel" Corbieres
Review Date: 07-10-2015
Our French Regional buyer, Keith, has really outdone himself in finding this remarkable producer. Clos de l’Anhel produces classic Corbieres, and their entry level “Lolo” is no exception. The level of complexity and character for this bottle under $15 is extraordinary. Notes of plum, quince, cured meats, baking spices and a hint of celery root show through, and it only continues to evolve with air. With bright acid and fine tannin structure, this is the perfect wine for summer barbeques and hearty meals.
Price: $12.99 Add To Waiting List

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

2014 Waterkloof Circumstance "Cape Coral" Mourvedre Rosé Stellenbosch
Review Date: 05-01-2015
Two vintages in a row I have been completely taken aback by how well done this rose is! Completely Bandol in style, in a blind tasting this would certainly fool everyone for Provance. The nose has beautiful aromas of rose petals, melon and crushed rocks. The palate has all the pretty melon fruit, herbs of rosemary and sage, spice and a mid-palate that’s silky smooth. Definately my top rosé of the season! Did I mention it’s certified biodynamic?!
Price: $16.99 Add To Waiting List

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