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

  
Page: 1 2 next
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: $21.99 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

2006 Launois "Spécial Club" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 04-22-2015
We loved the decadent 2005 special club, so I had high expectations when tasting the 2006. And of course, it exceeded my expectations, as Launios always does. The 2006 maintains some brioche and toast on the nose as the 2005 did but provides more bright stone fruit and minerality. The palate is a bit more focused and full of citrus, peach and chalky minerality. Delicious and showing tons of age potential, grab a bottle for the cellar!
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2010 Von Hövel Oberemmeler Hütte Riesling Spätlese
Review Date: 04-20-2015
What a perfect wine for something spicy, fatty or sweet. Aromas of honeycomb, candied apple, and sweet pear lead to a zingy palate of lemon, green apple and peaches. The sweetness of this late harvest is balanced beautifully by searingly high acid that provides a little effervescence and is sure to cut through spicy Thai food, foie gras or triple cream cheeses!
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
ST 90 WS 90

2013 Weingut 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

2014 Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 04-09-2015
Year after year this rosé proves to be one of our favorites. This is classic Provençal rosé; a rich and elegant palate with strawberry, rose petal, crushed herbs and cherry. And a steal at under $15.
Price: $14.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Pedro Martinez Alesanco Rosado Rioja
Review Date: 04-09-2015
What a fantastic rosé for a hot summer day. It’s so bright , full of blood orange, red berries, and cherry with fantastic acidity to quench your thirst in the heat!
Price: $9.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Domaine des Côtes Blanches Sancerre
Review Date: 04-09-2015
This vintage is so beautiful, incredible balance and ripe fruit that the 2013 didn’t possess. Bright and lifted, with lemon zest, orange, sweet herbs and tons of minerality. I see myself emptying many bottles of this Sancerre throughout the summer.
Price: $17.99 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

2002 Couly-Dutheil "Clos de l'Echo" Chinon
Review Date: 03-26-2015
2002 is still very young for this producer but this bottling is showing great potential! The nose provides notes of tomato leaf, crushed herbs and leather while the palate expresses cherry, cassis, earth, tobacco and raw mushroom. With so much structure, this bottle is sure to age well for another 10-15 years, easily.
Price: $21.99 Add To Waiting List

1989 Couly-Dutheil "Baronnie Madeleine" Chinon
Review Date: 03-26-2015
An old bottle of Couly Dutheil Chinon always holds up so well, and the price is always such a steal. The 1989 shows pretty notes of crushed flowers, leather, dry earth and meat. The palate brings tertiary flavors of sweet mushrooms, iron and salted meats. There’s still sweet cherry and cranberry notes, and the dusty tannins and acidity are still prevalent, this wine is sure to have another 5 years in it at least, just look at how well the 1976 is doing!
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

1976 Couly Dutheil "Baronnie Madeleine" Chinon
Review Date: 03-26-2015
Wow!! At 39 years old this Chinon is more beautiful than ever. We had this bottle open for 3 days and it only got better. The wine is all umami while still having a backbone of fruit. On the nose notes of dill, iron and tomato show through while on the palate there’s soy, mushrooms, organic earth, meat, and soft cherry tannins. It’s somehow so elegant while showing so much flavor. Just stunning!
Price: $59.99 Add To Waiting List

2013 Marisa Cuomo "Ravello" Costa d'Amalfi Bianco
Review Date: 03-21-2015
Marisa Cuomo makes so of my favorite whites, period. The Ravello emanates notes of lemon oil, white flowers, crushed wet stones and peach fuzz. The palate expresses lemon zest, white peach, and nectarine, but that’s just the beginning. Honeysuckle, almond skins, pithy and chalky minerality integrate perfectly with the high acid and beeswax texture. Try it with a seafood risotto!!
Price: $22.99 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

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

2012 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin Mâcon-Villages Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 02-08-2015
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 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 Zudugarai "Amats" Getariako Txakolina
Review Date: 02-04-2015
It’s so hard to find excellent txakolina for under $20, but thankfully Mr. Manekin managed to do it. The Amats is essential for beach trips, relaxing on the couch, or fresh grilled sardines. This wine is so versatile and complex, with notes of lemon basil, slatey minerality, lime zest lemon citrus, and sea salt with fantastic acid and a touch of effervescence.
Price: $12.99 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

2013 Ökonomierat Rebholz Pinot Blanc
Review Date: 02-03-2015
Okonomierat is highly regarded at the one of the greats for dry wines in Germany, and their Pinot Blanc is no exception. It’s full of lemon oil, blood orange, orange blossom, chalky minerality, balanced acidity and an elegant creamy mid-palate while still being completely dry. A perfect companion to salads, seafood, or even glazed pork.
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

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

2010 Bott-Geyl Sonnenglanz Pinot Gris Grand Cru
Review Date: 02-01-2015
If you’re looks for something rich and decadent the 2011 Bott-Geyl Sonnenglanz Pinot Gris Grand Cru is perfect. It has a beautiful golden hue, with notes of apricot, orange marmalade and almond. It’s surprisingly floral and there is a hint of botrytis. It’s full-bodied, medium-sweet, but you would never know because is beautifully balanced with high acidity. It’s the perfect pairing to fruit tarts, cheeses or simply on its own.
Price: $39.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90 ST 89

2012 Zind Humbrecht Gewürztraminer
Review Date: 02-01-2015
Classic dry Gewurztraminer done better then any other producer at an incredible price point. With smells of sweet pears, white peaches, lychee and snap peas, the fruit takes a backseat on the palate with white pepper, rose petals, exotic spices, clove, wet stone, and a hint of smoked meat dominate.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
WS 91

2012 Zind Humbrecht Riesling
Review Date: 02-01-2015
Beautiful aromas of honeysuckle, beeswax, passionfruit, vanilla extract and crushed stones with a palate that provides refreshing acidity, notes of pear and nectarine, with a long, dry finish with tons of steely minerality.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92 WS 90

2013 Musar "Jeune" White Bekaa Valley
Review Date: 01-22-2015
Such an incredible blend from an incredible producer. Aromatics that continually open up with yellow flowers, yellow apples, and nectar. The palate is complex, with notes of pineapple, peach, bitter almonds, nectarines and a pithy, tannic finish that is fantastic.
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Orgo Rkatsiteli Republic of Georgia
Review Date: 01-22-2015
The nose on this this is gorgeous!!! Full of apricot, marmalade, nectar, orange blossom, nuts and apple cider, so intriguing. The palate follows through with apple skins, chestnuts, crushed wet stones, apricot and plenty, plenty more. I love the orange wines coming out of Georgia, and this one is one of my favorites. Such a small producers, doing things of course, the old fashioned way fermenting the wine in qvevris and bottling the wine without filtration. Drink more Georgian wine!!
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List

2006 Château Musar Blanc Bekaa Valley
Review Date: 01-22-2015
Drinking this wine over the course of a day would be ideal so you can experience the constant change that occurs with air. Although a 2006, the wine is still quite young and could sit happily in a loving cellar for years to come. Certainly one of the most interesting wines I’ve ever had, in true Musar fashion. Hints of beeswax, lanolin, and fresh mussels on the nose while the palate includes apple skins, salinity, oysters, almonds and white flowers. Plus, the grapes used in this wine come from a vineyard that was never hit with phylloxera, thus have their original rootstocks, such a rarity.
Price: $46.99 Add To Waiting List

2012 Charles Baur Eichberg Riesling Grand Cru
Review Date: 01-21-2015
This is a beautiful Alsatian Riesling, bursting with elegance and minerality. The nose provides aromas of pretty little white flowers, peach, nectar, apricot, and wet slate. The palate is full of beeswax and lanolin with fruits like pear and apple and a backbone of minerality like crush wet stone and slate. An absolutely gorgeous wine and a steal at $24.99.
Price: $24.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 92

2012 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-12-2014
An enticing nose of blueberries, blackberries, cloves and nutmeg will get you in the holiday spirit! The palate is full of black cherry, cassis, vanilla and cracked black pepper with plush tannins, great high acidity and a dry grippy finish. Drink now or allow a few years for integration.
Price: $44.99 Add To Waiting List
RP 90

Charles Baur "Emotion" Cremant d'Alsace Brut
Review Date: 12-04-2014
Sometimes sparkling wines with no dosage are piercingly acidic but the Emotion manages to be completely dry while still maintaining balance. The nose has a touch of toasty, brioche aromas without being overpowering, while yellow apples, pears, toasted walnuts and honeysuckle round out the nose. There’s great mid-palate weight and texture with some brioche, apple and quince characteristics showing through and frothy, clean bubbles with a long, lovely dry finish. The perfect accompaniment to tapas and charcuterie!
Price: $19.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 90

Charles Baur Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rosé
Review Date: 12-04-2014
The sparkling rose is for more than just parties, it can certainly hold up to heavier food and cuisine. Once popped you can smell bright cherries, melon and rose petals, with an underlying salinity. The palate has cranberry and black cherry, but also has an earthy, smoky minerality and intense acidity that can easily hold up to heavier cuisine. Enjoy now.
Price: $17.99 Add To Waiting List
WE 89

2011 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana
Review Date: 12-01-2014
Wow, what a rich, decadent wine. The nose provides some herbaceous, mineral-driven notes with plenty of black cherry, blackberry and violet to balance. The body is plush and juicy with fine, well-integrated tannins and notes of chocolate, fresh ground coffee, cherry, blueberry and cassis. A glass, maybe a bottle, of this as dessert sounds about right.

2007 Reinhold Haart Piesporter Goldtröpfchen Riesling Spätlese
Review Date: 11-21-2014
What an impressive Riesling! It’s starting to come into its age by developing beautiful aromatics of petrol, honey, and orange blossom. While it does have the typical light body of the Mosel, it’s light without being thin and shows richness and complexity. The palate provide bright acidity, lemon zest, nectarine and white peach notes. This medium-sweet style can be admired on its own or paired exceptionally with spicy foods or dessert.

Page: 1 2 next