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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Cruz Vieja Viña Roble Amontillado Jerez
Review Date: 09-29-2016
Cruz Vieja makes some of the most intricate, complex wines of the region, with such attention to detail and care for every step of the process. This Amontillado is elegant and complexly layered with flavor. It is extremely aromatic, revealing notes of hazelnuts, white flowers and bitter cocoa with flavors of salt, honey, roasted almonds and a long finish. Food pairings are endless with this wine, anything from olives to artichokes, to cured meats, to even heavier meats like pork or lamb.
Price: $32.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

2015 Montmassot Picpoul de Pinet
Review Date: 09-29-2016
I love this particular Picpoul de Pinet for its quintessential 'picpoul' qualities. With bright, zippy acidity, a hint of effervescence and flavors of lime, lemon zest and an inherent salinity, this is the perfect wine to beat the heat or to pair with oysters!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de la Réserve d'O "Bilbo" Languedoc
Review Date: 09-29-2016
The whole line-up of Domaine De La Reserve D'o wines is insane, it is so difficult to pick a favorite, but the' bilbo' may just be my favorite. The idea behind this bottling is to enjoy it with Basque cuisine, a favorite of the owners of the winery, so the bilbo reflects a wine that is light on its feet and bright, to pair with the seaside cuisine of Basque country. With aromas of purple fruit and crushed flowers this wine is gorgeous. Flavors of quince, blackberry and exotic spices dance across the palate. For me this wine is best enjoyed with a slight chill on it.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "SV5182 - Single Block" Pinot Noir Marlborough
Review Date: 09-29-2016
This pinot is from a single block of a single, gravel laden, vineyard from TWR. This pinot oozes elegance and lift. With a bouquet of mushrooms and violets, leading your palate to notes of dark cherry, berries, cassis and spice. This pinot is lifted and light yet full of character. This is the kind of pinot that is hard to put down.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 96

2013 Shaw + Smith Shiraz Adelaide Hills
Review Date: 09-29-2016
This coastal shiraz manages to provide all those things we love about Australian shiraz without being too big, fruity or jammy but rather balanced with earthy and savory flavors. With flavors of dark cherry, meat and pepper, this shiraz has juicy acidity, great texture and concentration. Grab some red meat, a BBQ and a bottle of this shiraz for a perfect evening.

2014 Henri Bourgeois La Côte des Mont Damnés Sancerre
Review Date: 09-23-2016
From my first sip, all I could imagine doing is drinking this wine with oysters. Aromas of salt water, crushed stones and a hit of tropical fruit pop from the glass. Flavors of lemon zest, white nectarine and chalk accompany this wines incredibly high acid, slightly oily texture and completely dry, long limestone finish. This will drink lovely now with things like raw seafood but you could cellar a bottle for a few years to watch the tension in the wine drop a bit and develop into something truly incredible.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WE 93 WS 92

2014 Clos de la Bonnette "Roches d'Arbuel" Condrieu
Review Date: 08-23-2016
I can't believe it, we have a Direct Import Condrieu! And what a Condrieu it is! Elegant and beautiful with aromas of white flowers, wet stones, and yellow Mirabelle plum. The palate wraps your mouth in flavors of rosemary, quince, nectarine and beeswax. This white has big texture and length for days. This bottle drinks at much more than its price point.
Price: $54.99 Add To Cart

2010 Domaine de la Jaufrette Côtes-du-Rhone
Review Date: 08-23-2016
This is not just your everyday, $10 CDR. The Jaufrette is old school and earthy, with so much complexity. Flavors of fresh figs, spice box, tobacco leaf and savory dried meats make this a perfect wine for charcuterie or things like game meat.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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

2015 Domaine Robert Sérol "Cabochard" Côte Roannaise Rosé (Gamay)
Review Date: 08-21-2016
This is an incredibly beautiful rosé from start to finish, even the color is this gorgeous, almost blood orange color. Aromas of cantaloupe, melon and rose petals lead to flavors of blood orange, white nectarine, wet stones and a hint of strawberry. The finish is long and persistent coupled with almost a waxy texture that balances out the acidity. The perfect rosé for simply poolside sipping while also being complex enough for serious food pairings.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2014 von Winning Kalkofen Riesling Grosses Gewächs Pfalz
Review Date: 08-15-2016
A beautiful Grosses Gewächs (the German “Grand Cru” designation for dry wine) Riesling. The grapes are sourced from the limestone and marl-ridden soils of the Kalkofen vineyard, which provide for a decidedly terroir-driven wine. With initial aromas of matchstick, beeswax, and white tea, this complex Riesling just continues to unravel with air. Its structure and acidity suggest this wine will age with grace while showing exquisitely in its youth with notes of Meyer lemon, nectarine, chalk and exotic spices.

2014 Heinrich Spindler Riesling Trocken (dry) Pfalz
Review Date: 08-15-2016
Shows aromas of almond blossom and quince, and flavors of apricot, wet stones and salt water complemented by mouthwatering acidity and a long, dry finish. This the perfect wine to refresh your palate on a hot summer day, accompanied by some sushi.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2014 Heinrich Spindler Pechstein Riesling Trocken (dry) Grosse Lage Pfalz
Review Date: 08-15-2016
Fermented entirely in stainless steel, the Pechstein is elegant and concentrated, with aromas of smoke, chalk and red fruits like tart cherry plums. The waxy texture of the wine captivates your palate and wraps it in flavors of white peach, white cherry and a finish of white flowers.
Price: $41.99 Add To Cart

2012 Friedrich Becker Estate Pinot Noir Pfalz
Review Date: 08-15-2016
An absolute steal for under $20. Notes of rhubarb, cracked black pepper and cherry burst from the glass. Earthy flavors of tobacco and dusty, savory meat accompanied by strawberry and bright, crunchy cherry dance on the palate. An exquisite, affordable Pinot from one of the legendary wineries of Pfalz, with versatility that allows for endless food pairings.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2015 Kalinda Riesling Rheingau
Review Date: 08-14-2016
Finding a great Riesling for under $15 is not always easy, and this Rheingau Riesling is a steal for $11.99. This is an off-dry style Riesling that is simply perfect for sipping in the garden while eating fresh fruit or for pairing with some spicy Szechuan food.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2009 Can Mayol Loxarel "Gran Reserva de Familia" Brut Nature Penedes
Review Date: 08-13-2016
This has always been, not only, one of may favorite bottles of Spanish sparkling, but one of favorite bottles of sparkling with period. With bright, clean, slightly toasty aromas and flavors of yellow apple, white nectarine, and a salinity that takes you through the long incredibly dry finish.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2015 Sigalas "Aa" (Assyrtiko/Athiri) Santorini
Review Date: 07-30-2016
Elegant aromas of pollen, yellow apples, and chalk lead your senses to flavors of crushed stones, quince, persimmon and crunchy apple. Thirst-quenching acidity and a long, waxy, almost sage like finish provide for a wine that will pair perfectly with flakey Branzino and olive-oil smashed potatoes.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Neyers "Left Bank Red" Napa Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 07-24-2016
I was blown away by balance and precision in the Neyers Left Bank blend. Beautiful fruit purity, not over-extracted or over-oaked with notes of purple fruit like cassis, fresh ground coffee, graphite and round, soft tannins. This is one of the best California Bordeaux blends for under $50 that I've had in a long time.
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
WS 92

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

2015 Domaine Petroni Corse Rosé (Corsica)
Review Date: 07-17-2016
Straight out of Corsica, this unique rosé is made from mainly indigenous varietals brought to us for an incredible price due to our DI relationship. This rosé personifies elegance. Aromas of rose petal, nectarine and cobblestone like minerality, lead to a rich palate of stone fruits, beautiful white cherry and white flowers. This elegant, mineral-driven rosé will be the hit of the summer in your house, coming in at under $15 a bottle.
Price: $13.99 Add To Waiting List

2014 Hugel "Gentil" Alsace
Review Date: 07-14-2016
Bright, crisp, and dry, this little Alsatian blend is delightful. Pour a glass to find aromas of chalk, white flowers, anise and white nectarine. A juicy palate of pears and Meyer lemon lead to a long finish of smoke and crushed stones. A bottle of this at the end of the day is sure to make you smile.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

2013 Le Battistelle "Roccolo del Durlo" Soave Classico
Review Date: 07-13-2016
The "Roccolo del Durlo" comes from over 100-year-old vines from red iron laden clay, volcanic and sand stone soils. This is old vine fruit at its finest expressing so much terroir. Intense aromas of smoke, almond skin and apples and so much flavor intensity of yellow fruit, wet stones and flint on the palate. With higher acidity and great texture this is a perfect pair for linguine and clams or any seafood dish.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart

Wine Club

$14.99

2014 Einaudi Dogliani (Dolcetto)
Review Date: 07-13-2016
This is such a fantastic dolcetto for such a small price tag. Aromas of flowers, rosemary and rhubarb lead to a palate of raspberry, violets and fresh crushed herbs with bright acidity and light to medium body.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Argiolas "Costera" Cannonau di Sardegna
Review Date: 07-13-2016
What a beautiful, fresh and clean little cannonau. Aromas of freshly cured meat, smoke and tea with flavors of bramble, red and purple fruit, graphite and bitter chocolate. Pair it with some Sardinia pecorino!!

2015 Claude Riffault "La Noue" Sancerre Rosé
Review Date: 07-08-2016
This rosé is much more than just a summer ‘porch-pounder,’ this is a serious rosé that provides complexity and depth. Aromas of white flowers, melon and chalk pop out of the glass. Layers of flavors like watermelon, fresh cranberry, wet stones and rose petals grace the palate. There is such beautiful structure, with zippy high acid and a dry, long finish, you’ll be tasting this rosé for a while after the bottle is empty.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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

2015 Nicolas Idiart Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Review Date: 06-24-2016
If you haven't tried the Maison Idiart in the past, this is the time to try it. This vintage is elegant and pretty with aromas of white flowers and yellow apples, and a palate of white nectarine, meyer lemon and loads of chalky minerality. An excellent example of great Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley that is much more affordable than Sancerre.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

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

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

2014 Domaine de la Noblaie "Le Temps des Cerises" Chinon
Review Date: 06-20-2016
While this wine may be deep purple in color, its bright acidity makes for a lighter red. A wide array of fruits show through, from cranberry, black cherry to blackberry. Some black pepper and a hint of rosemary and graphite leave you with a wonderful finish. This is a great little red that you can serve to anyone with confidence.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Cherrier Père & Fils Sancerre
Review Date: 06-19-2016
Always a customer favorite, the Cherrier Sancerre provides you with fruit and thirst quenching acidity for under $20 a bottle. The 2015 provides notes of peach, nectarine and even a hint of pineapples. You don't need to spend $25+ to get a great Sancerre.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine de la Noblaie Chinon Rosé
Review Date: 06-19-2016
100% Cabernet Franc, this rosé is fresh and bright, and void of that herbaceous funk you might expect. With notes of cherry, flowers, melon and a lengthy mineral finish this rosé is perfect for all your summer parties.
Price: $13.99 Add To Cart

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

Tom's Foolery Bottled In Bond Batch #3 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 06-16-2016
This pot-still distilled Ohio bourbon is insanely delicious. Sweet maple balanced by spicy nutmeg and allspice lead to a backbone of earthy, clay pot-still flavor. A must-have, absolutely unique bourbon for the collection.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Charles Baur "Emotion" Cremant d'Alsace Brut
Review Date: 06-16-2016
Sometimes sparkling wines with no dosage are piercingly acidic but the Emotion manages to be completely dry while still maintaining balance. The nose has a touch of toasty aromas without being overpowering, while yellow apples, pears, toasted walnuts and honeysuckle round out the nose. There is great mid-palate weight and texture with some brioche, apple and quince characteristics and frothy, clean bubbles with a long, lovely dry finish. The perfect accompaniment to tapas and charcuterie.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 90

2007 Michel Loriot "Monodie Meunier" Extra Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-25-2016
The fruit for the “Monodie Meunier” comes from a single vineyard site that was planted during WWII in 1942. Not only is it incredible that someone planted a vineyard during the war, but they planted an incredible vineyard of massal selections vines that never got ripped out and replaced by clones as much of Champagne was in the 70’s. Its old vine character shines through with hints of smoke, salt and flint accompanied by flavors of quince, apple and cherry. This has fantastic structure and depth that will allow it to age gracefully in your cellar.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 05-25-2016
The whole lineup of Charles Ellner blew us away with complexity and elegance all around. The Carte d’Or is my favorite of the bottlings. It is a little different from your typical Brut Champagne, they intentionally hold back malolactic fermentation making for a Champagne with loads of character. There are flavors of nuts, minerals and fino sherry, balanced with notes of fresh pineapples nectarine and a hint of crème brûlée. This is an incredibly complex Champagne for under $35 a bottle.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

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

2015 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Review Date: 05-21-2016
I loved the 2014, but this 2015 is even better, showing more minerality and restraint. Still the same bright, juicy high acid, balanced by notes of white nectarine, blood orange and even a little passion fruit. The texture is rich and supple with a long flinty finish.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

2014 Château de Brézé "Clos de Midi" Saumur Blanc
Review Date: 05-21-2016
In the region of Saumur, a unique hill is home to some of the most complex and interesting Chenin Blanc of Loire. The historic hill of Brézé is where you will find Château de Brézé. The entire hill sits on tuffeau limestone rock, which is thought to contribute to its character. The vineyards are divided into true “clos” or walled off vineyards, that protect the unique topsoils. While the Clos de Midi is the Chateau’s entry level bottling, it is also a ‘clos’ that expresses a wine from a cooler, sandy site. This light bodied wine is insanely complex. Aromas of fresh honeycomb and lemon zest lead to flavors of orange blossom, cooked rhubarb, and wet puddles stones. The acidity is searing and juicy and will cut through fat and cleanse the palate entirely. A perfect companion to a whole white fish or fatty cheese.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

Corti Brothers "Good Honest" Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 04-20-2016
Rich and smooth, this bourbon’s flavors are influenced elegantly by the casks they were aged in. The casks have a storied history, initially they were whiskey casks, then turned over to age a California specialty that can be compared to sweet sherry, and then finally for this Corti Brothers whiskey. Nutty, slightly salty and hints of vanilla and sandalwood spice, this whiskey is rich yet incredibly balanced, the whiskey gracefully took on all the right qualities of its barrels.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

Copper & Kings "Cr&ftwerk" 3 Floyds Stout-Aged Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
These beer aged brandies are incredible. I’ve seen it done with whiskey, but the results are remarkable with brandy. The 3 Floyds is aged in stout barrels and has a slight influence from those barrels that make for a super interesting brandy. Aromas of cherries, orange and panettone with flavors of malt, coffee and caramel and a soft texture, resembling, well, stout. These brandies pack a punch and I’d say are a whiskey drinker's brandy.
Price: $49.99 Add To Waiting List
Limit of 2 per customer

Copper & Kings "Cr&ftwerk" Oskar Blues IPA-Aged Brandy (750ml)
Review Date: 04-15-2016
This Oskar Blues IPA is the most obviously influenced by its beer barrel of the four bottlings. Aged in a barrel that once contained a hoppy IPA, fruity and yeasty aromatics burst form the glass. The palate is expressive with notes of orange, grapefruit, fresh hops and white flowers. This is the perfect brandy for the California beer drinker.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 2 per customer

2009 Trimbach "Cuvée Frédéric Émile" Riesling Alsace
Review Date: 04-03-2016
With 7 years of age, the Cuvee Frederic Emile is just beginning to develop. The nose burst with aromas of white flowers, honeycomb, herbs and a subtle hint of petrol. On the palate a smack of minerality like wet stones shows first, with white tea, rhubarb and white nectarine shining through. While this Riesling is drinking exceptionally now, it is structurally sound, with bright acid and big texture, ready to sit in your cellar for a few more years. Enjoy it now with some Szechuan food.

2012 A.A. Badenhorst Family Wines "The Curator" Red Blend Coastal Region
Review Date: 04-03-2016
The Curator is a red blend from the granite soils of Swartland, South Africa. Shiraz is the dominate varietal with some Cinsaut, Mourvedre, Grenache and tiny amounts of cool varietals like Tinta Barocca and Pinotage. This bright blend provides aromas of black cherry, meat, and blackberries. The palate tastes of red plums, currants and licorice, with a thread of spice throughout. This juicy and spicy blend is perfect for pork, beef or game.
Price: $8.99 Add To Cart

2013 Henri Bourgeois "Jadis" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-17-2016
The 'Jadis' is bright and lifted in its youth with aromas of orange blossom and lemon zest. The palate is alive with everything from lemon to peach pith and even a little tropical fruit. With flinty minerality, bright acidity and quite a bit of body, this wine will reward those who wait. Drink one now, put another in the cellar for 5-7 years to see its true depth and complexity.
Price: $48.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2014 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 03-11-2016
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 Cart

2006 Taittinger "Comtes de Champagne" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-11-2016
Aromas of yellow apples, caramelized pears and toast are very expressive immediately after popping the bottle. The palate shows more white nectarine and peach with bright acidity, soft moussey bubbles and a long, rich finish of baked apples.

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: $16.99 Add To Cart
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: $19.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

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