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 Kir-Yianni "Yianakohori Hills" Red Blend Macedonia
Review Date: 02-05-2016
This elegant Greek blend boasts aromas of violets, dark cherry and anise. The palate is lifted and bright yet soft and polished. Flavors of dark plum, blackberry, and chocolate dominate the palate while having a backbone of graphite and a subtle sanguine quality. While this is drinking well now, the bright acidity and polished tannin structure would make for an interesting wine to cellar for a few years.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 90

2011 Kir-Yianni "Ramnista" Xinomavro Naoussa
Review Date: 02-05-2016
This Xinomavro has incredible lift and acidity, while still having that hallmark Xinomavro tannin. There are notes of bright cherries, figs, and fennel coupled with flavors of eucalyptus, leather, and iron. This is a wine that is light yet tannic; full of fruit, yet incredibly earthy; and rustic while maintaining exceptional complexity. I love its opposing characteristics that work seamlessly together.
Price: Hidden View Price
RP 92

2014 Ermitage "Victor" Costières de Nîmes Rouge
Review Date: 02-02-2016
This is undoubtedly the best $10 wine we have in the store. Dark berry fruits, juicy and lifted with a backbone of black peppercorn spice and graphite. Pair this with just about anything, or nothing at all.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2010 Cune "Imperial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 01-29-2016
Aromas of cocoa and baking spices lead to a palate of deep, dark fruits reminiscent of black plum and cassis. A backbone of graphite and fennel round out this supple and rich Rioja. Pair this with roasted red meats and enjoy!

2014 Jean-Paul & Benoit Droin Chablis
Review Date: 01-23-2016
At first taste, this wine has searing, thirst-quenching acidity. But take a few more sips and you will find a wonderfully balanced Chablis. The nose has aromas of flint, lemon and peaches. The palate has all that high acidity and lemon balanced by notes of white nectarine, tropical mango and an almost oily texture. Such a great Chablis for food with all that acid and texture. Try it with seafood, veggies or lighter cuisine.

1995 Inchgower 20 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-15-2016
Another lovely single malt from a distillery with no official bottling. The Inchgower is great for fans of Sherry influenced whisky. Rich flavors of chocolate, caramel, coffee and vanilla come across on both the nose and palate. The texture is rich but not oily, with oak spice and notes of dried dates, oranges and raisins. This bottle oozes complexity with its rich Oloroso sherry influence and 20 year age, I’m shocked at the under $100 price tag.
Price: $99.99 Add To Cart

2009 Talisker 5 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-15-2016
Light hints of hickory, salt and charcoal lead you to aromas of lemon zest and yellow apples. While the palate does have a dose of peat and salinity, flavors of licorice, peppercorn and baked apples complement the classic island peat. This young five year Talisker provides both masculine elements of smoke and a refreshing elegance of fruit and herbs.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

1997 Glenlossie 17 Year Old Hepburn's Choice K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 01-15-2016
Glenlossie is a distillery I had never heard of until now. They don’t currently have a distillery bottling, although I’m wishing they did, because when this is gone, it’s gone. With a light golden color, this fresh Speyside single malt is light yet powerful. Vanilla, lemon and white flowers spring out of the glass. There is an intense oak spice on the palate balanced by lemongrass, green apple, tea, and a lovely savory malt quality to round it all out. If there is such thing as a daytime single malt sipper, this would be it.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fürst Centragenberg Pinot Noir Grosses Gewächs Franken
Review Date: 01-09-2016
Spending over a $100 on a German Pinot Noir may seem a bit brash. But most wouldn’t bat an eye at spending 2 or 3 times that on Burgundy. The Centragenberg is everything you want and more for half the price you would spend on Burgundy as good as this Furst bottling. Aromas of violets, exotic spices, and minerals lead to a palate of strawberry, sweet cherry, cedar and tobacco. This Pinot is ethereal but sturdy with structure, acid and length that will hold up well for years in the cellar. Next time you think about spending hundred of dollars on Burgundy, look instead to the Pinot Noirs of Germany.
Price: $106.99 Add To Cart

2012 Heger "Vitus" Pinot Noir Baden
Review Date: 01-09-2016
Just a few miles from the French border, you can find the vineyards of Dr. Heger in Kaiserstuhl. These vineyards lie on a unique area of Baden where there was once a volcano. This volcanic soil includes rocks that remain from 16-19 million years ago. The “Vitus” is truly terroir driven with notes smoke, violets, paprika, savory leather and a core of graphite. It drinks absolutely lovely now and will age well for another 5+ years.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2013 Antech "Cuvée Eugenie" Cremant de Limoux
Review Date: 11-27-2015
The "Cuvee Eugenie" is my go-to bottle of bubbles for every occasion. Whether you're sitting on the couch or celebrating a birthday or holiday, it is perfect! It's beautifully balanced and the chalky and white flower characteristics make this wine incredibly elegant, and a fantastic value.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

2013 Casa Castillo "El Molar" Garnacha Jumilla Spain
Review Date: 11-12-2015
This "El Molar" is my favorite bottling yet from Casa Castillo. All that beautiful ripe, dark Jumilla fruit with a kick of sweet smoke, graphite, black pepper and tea leaf. It's sultry and seductive and will certainly be a difficult bottle to put down.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2013 Claiborne & Churchill Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 11-01-2015
This classic Pinot Noir will remind you more of Pinot from Burgundy or Alsace than California. Notes of cranberry, bramble, leaves, and strawberry jump from the glass. It is light and bright and full of minerality. It’s the perfect Pinot for food, especially for the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2013 Clos du Val Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 10-31-2015
The stunning deep purple hue leads to aromas of violet, spice-box, basil and cassis. The palate is plush and integrated with black pepper, blackberries, ripe plums, cigar spice and graphite. Pleasant to drink now, or hold onto for up to 5 years.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
VN 95 JS 92

Strohmeier "Schilcher Frizzzante" Styria
Review Date: 10-28-2015
A sparkling rosé of Blauer Wildbacher that sees 12 hours of skin contact before the initial fermentation followed by a secondary fermentation in bottle. Blauer Wildbacher is a very old grape varietal thought to date back to the Celts and a specialty of the Styria region. This bottle is full of bramble, earl grey tea, rosemary, violets and smoke. A very unique wine that deserves your attention.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
W&S 90

2014 Veronique Anne Perret "Le Minéral" Vin de Savoie
Review Date: 10-23-2015
I absolutely love this wine. It's like the Alps slapped you in the face. This wine is full of minerality, with aromas of chalk, and a palate that seems like you're licking wet stone and slate. This is all accompanied by aromas of beautiful white flowers, tea and flavors of lemon and fresh cider, pith and great acid and texture. Extremely versatile with food, great for fondue!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2010 Michel Delhommeau "Monnières Saint Fiacre" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine
Review Date: 10-22-2015
Serious Muscadet. Wet stone, lemon rind, pith, white nectarine, steely acid and waxy texture. Yes, please!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

2013 Château de Montfaucon Lirac
Review Date: 10-22-2015
A new project from our friends at Montfaucon, this bottle in focusing on the idea of elevating the reputation of superb quality Lirac wines. This wine is incredibly complex for a $15 bottle of wine, and certainly helping boost the reputation of the appellation. Aromas of violets, smoke, cassis and allspice pop from the glass. The palate bursts with blackberries, leather, graphite and forest floor with a sanguine quality throughout that I just can’t get enough of. A serious little wine, with a little price tag.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

1996 Lynch-Moussas, Pauillac
Review Date: 10-14-2015
The 1996 vintage brought on cool weather, but made for perfect conditions for ageable wines. The Lynch Moussas perfectly exemplifies the 1996 vintage. While it is certainly in its prime, drinking perfectly right now, it has aged gracefully in its 19 years and has the possibility to continue aging. Aromas of sweet cherry, leather and cola permeate the glass while the palate shows notes of smoke, coffee, olive and graphite. With an elegant polished structure and beautiful length, this bottle is a must-have for the traditional Bordeaux lover.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2012 Léoville-Barton, St-Julien
Review Date: 10-14-2015
Incredibly elegant and complex with aromas of violets, fresh herbs and ripe cherries. The palate has an elegant soft texture while maintaining structure and expresses notes of fresh ground coffee, cassis and pencil shavings. This 2012 is a stunning bottle of elegant, classic Bordeaux that is integrated enough to drink now and complex enough to hold on to for a number of years.

2014 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 10-09-2015
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: $24.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ökonomierat Rebholz Kastanienbusch Riesling Grosses Gewächs Pfalz
Review Date: 10-02-2015
Rebholz is legendary, not only in Pfalz but in all of Germany, for their beautiful stainless steel-aged, concentrated Riesling and Pinot Blanc. This particular bottling is completely dry and insanely incredible. The vineyard this bottle is sourced from is “Kastanienbusch” meaning chestnut tree which signifies that the vineyard is warm enough to grow chestnut trees. The vineyard is riddled with red slate which certainly helps express a sense of place in the wine. The nose smells of beautiful orange blossom, crushed stone, and smoke. The palate provides immense minerality, notes of white tea and lemon with amazing structure, perfect to cellar for 5+ years.
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2014 Pine Ridge California Chenin Blanc-Viognier
Review Date: 09-30-2015
This is a beautiful, crisp and clean blend that I love for all seasons. It’s bright and zippy with notes of green apple, white nectarine and loads of minerality. Yet the palate has enough texture and weight to enjoy with poultry dishes throughout the winter. It’s so versatile, you’ll need a few bottle around the house for dinners, guests or relaxing on the couch.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

1994 Chateau de la Grangerie 20 Year Old K&L Exclusive Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 09-26-2015
The 1994 La Grangerie expresses more dried, dark fruits compared to the 2001. Aromas of dried blueberries, figs and chalky minerality lead to a palate of quince preserves, candied lemon peel, dried mulberries and baking spices. Ethereal and richly textured, absolutely stunning at 20 years old.
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

2014 Talley/K&L Wine Merchants Edna Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 09-17-2015
The Talley K&L colloberation this vintage is stellar. It's insanely well balanced with high acidity while still having fantastic palate weight. Bright green apple, ever so slight hints of brioche, minerality and great length. Buy two because the first bottle with empty faster than you could imagine.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2013 Clos de l'Elu "Magellan" Anjou Rouge
Review Date: 09-16-2015
I am head over heels for this bottle of Cab Franc. Hints of leather, cured meat, dusty forest floor and earth jump from the glass. The palate shows notes of blackberry and violets wrapped around dried mushroom, cocoa and savory meat. While it may sound funky, it’s actually extremely clean and void of those pesky green, herbaceous flavors that sometimes show in Cab Franc. Buy two, one to drink now, one to cellar for 5-10 years.
Price: $38.99 Add To Cart

2013 Clos de l'Elu Anjou Blanc
Review Date: 09-16-2015
Clos de l’Elu is making stunning dry Chenin Blanc in an area that traditionally produces botrytis affected sweet Chenin.This entry level bottling shows impressive expression in its youth, with aromas of baked apple, ripe pear, and almonds. The palate has more lemon, white nectarine, chalky minerality and salinity all backed by a full, beautiful texture.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

2013 Clos de l'Elu "Ephata" Anjou Blanc
Review Date: 09-16-2015
The ‘Ephata’ is aged in clay amphora for 7 months, but if you thought that this was going to be one of those dirty, funky bottles of natural wine, you’re wrong. The ‘Ephata’ is clean incredibly ethereal with structure and length that prove it will age beautifully in the cellar for 5-7 years. There are notes of smoke, white flowers, yellow fruit and a dense palate with an insane amount of flavor intensity and concentration of beeswax, pear and wet stone minerality. Elegant and absolutely beautiful.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Cabirau Côtes du Roussillon
Review Date: 09-09-2015
What an enchanting little blend of Grenache, Syrah and Carignan. Aromas of black cherry, blackberry and eucalyptus entice you to drink every bit of this wine. The palate has soft, nicely integrated tannins with a spicy black pepper and graphite on the finish.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2014 Le Cirque Grenache Gris Côtes Catalanes
Review Date: 09-09-2015
Floral, expressive aromatics lead to a bright palate bursting with citrus, minerality and a lovely pithy finish. The perfect companion to salads, vegetables or chicken dishes, or simply for sitting by the pool.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2013 Lambuena Tinto Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 08-29-2015
A very well structured wine for under $15 that has earth and rusticity perfect for stews or barbecued meats.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
W&S 90

2014 Regina Gris de Toul Rosé Lorraine (last of vintage)
Review Date: 08-27-2015
This rosé is so ethereal and beautiful with never-ending complexities that will make you never want to set this bottle down. Aromas of nectarine, white flowers and pith emerge from the glass, while the palate bursts with peach, white nectarine, blood orange and wet stones with a full, voluptuous body yet zippy acidity that makes your mouth water.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2013 Fossil Point Edna Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 08-23-2015
The perfect Pinot for all occasions. Full of cherry, purple and blue fruits with light integrated tannin and quaffability! The bottles will empty faster than you can imagine, so stock up.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

2013 Moric Blaufränkisch Burgenland
Review Date: 08-13-2015
Lately, I have been quite obsessed with Austrian reds, they are full of minerality and earth while having immediate drinkability, with lower tannin and great texture. Moric is the best of the best when it comes to Blaufrankisch. Moric is a more natural style producer, with indigenous yeasts and no fining or filtering (which means this wine is vegan). The juice for this wine come from vines up to 50 years old in the Mittelburgenland a.k.a. Blaufrankisch country. With notes of bramble, forest floor, white pepper, cured meat, iron and graphite, this is and always will be on of my favorite Blaufrankisch.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2011 Pierre et Catherine Breton "Les Perrières" Bourgueil
Review Date: 08-13-2015
The Les Perrieres comes from a single hectare of 40 year old vines and is, as usual for Breton, bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine is beautiful and has some serious potential for aging. With aromas of smoke, violets and clay and flavors of cherry, plum, iron and fresh tilled earth, it’s delicious now but I would love to see how this wine develops over the next 6-10 years. Buy one to drink now and one to cellar.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart
W&S 90

2013 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 Cart

2013 Dr. Randolf Kauer Oberweseler Oelsberg Riesling Spätlese Trocken Alte Reben Mittelrhein
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 Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart
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: $14.99 Add To Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart

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 Cart

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 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 Cart

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 Cart

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: Hidden View Price

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 Cart

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