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 Paul Hobbs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-28-2017
On the nose are alluring notes of black currants, cassis and sweet cocoa along with hints of fresh vanilla. The intense dark, concentrated fruit on the mouth-coating mid-palate misleads you into thinking that this wine is going to be massive and extracted but this Cab is exquisitely balanced. The intensity, focus and concentration of fruit is what takes this Napa Valley Cabernet from being simple AVA wine to excelling over those that are even single vineyard expressions. Just grab a steak and a wine glass and you're ready for a great evening.

2014 Gerard Bertrand Corbieres
Review Date: 04-27-2017
I was pleasantly surprised by the elegance of this Corbieres. It has the perfumed floral notes of violets and lilacs that remind me of wines from places like Gigondas. Concentrated flavors of blackberries, cassis and anise and a juicy mouthfeel, this red blend is an excellent value to stock up on for any occasion.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2008 Domaine Baud Vin Jaune Château-Chalon (620ml)
Review Date: 04-19-2017
Complex and layered with savory suggestions of macadamia nuts, raw mushrooms, sea salt and cider. It’s expressive in its youth, with the potential to age longer than white Burgundy. Grab a bottle for your next Japanese or Korean dinner and another to slip into the cellar.
Price: $44.99 Add To Cart

2013 Domaine Baud "Ancestral" Côtes du Jura Rouge
Review Date: 04-19-2017
This Trousseau blend embodies the distinct earthiness the wines in this region can exude. This wine is aromatic, like walking through a forest, with aromas of crunchy berries, pine and fallen leaves. With one sip you can taste cherry, clove, cured meats and graphite while enjoying bright acidity, a medium body and soft tannins. Pair this unique red with roasted duck or game bird.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2016 Le Coeur de la Reine Sauvignon Blanc Touraine
Review Date: 04-13-2017
Year after year, this is one of my go-to French Sauvignon Blancs. The 2016 is showing minerality and restraint. Still the same bright, juicy high acid, balanced by notes of white nectarine, lemon zest and even a little tropical fruit. The texture is rich and supple with a long, zesty finish.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

1997 Ben Nevis 18 Year Old "John Milroy - K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2017
This is both soft and easy to put down, with some funky notes of almond skins and sake yet flavors of lemon cake, malt, vanilla and a super creamy mouthfeel. Easy, yet complex, a single malt lover's paradise.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2006 Mortlach 10 Year Old "John Milroy" K&L Exclusive Single Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2017
Mortlach continues to be one of my favorite single malts, especially this unique John Milroy bottling. The Mortlach has an ever so faint note of smokiness and cured meats. It has an elegant balance of lemon zest and green apple with some more funky notes of petrol and charcoal. This is an incredibly complex single malt that has nuances that last for days.
Price: $59.99 Add To Cart

2014 Patrick Baudouin Savennières
Review Date: 03-26-2017
Patrick Baudouin farms just one hectare in Savennieres, and does so organically and with the utmost attention to detail. In fact, he is a musician and plays music to his vines with the belief that it will assist the vines to grow healthy. This Savennieres is absolutely beautiful. With notes of cinnamon, smoke, apples, wet stones searing acidity balanced by great palate weight, its so phenomenal that I'm beginning to think everyone should play music to their vines.
Price: $43.99 Add To Cart

2009 Gitton Père & Fils "Galinot" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-26-2017
These days, it's a rarity to find back vintage Sancerre. We are used to drinking Sancerre that is meant to drink with immediacy. But aged Sancerre is so remarkable and such a different experience to young Sancerre. Nearing a decade of age, the 'Galinots' from Gitton is epic. Once of the great, classic producers of Sancerre, proving that back-vintage Sancerre is incredible. You'll find notes of apples, white flowers and honey, with this beautiful waxy texture, surrounded by flavors of almonds and dried herbs. This is drinking beautifully now, and has the structure to last many more years to come.
Price: $56.99 Add To Cart

2015 Amalaya Malbec Salta
Review Date: 03-23-2017
This is everything you want from rich, Argentine Malbec. Juicy acidity, blackberry compote, black plums, cocoa and sweet blueberry. Ripe with soft with supple tannins this Malbec is great for all your BBQ needs.

2015 Andre Ostertag "Vignoble d'E" Riesling Alsace (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 03-23-2017
Ostertag is one of the greats of Alsace, and iconic when it comes to biodynamic viticulture. His attention to detail and sustainable approach in the vineyard comes across evidently his wines. This gorgeous dry Riesling has aromas of fresh grated ginger, rose petals, and nectarine. The palate bursts with flavors of apricots, honey comb and wet stones. There is loads of acidity and a finish that goes on and on... This is a lot of wine for under $20.
Price: Hidden View Price

2012 Salwey "Estate" Pinot Noir Baden
Review Date: 03-23-2017
German Pinot Noir is some of the most underrated Pinot in the world. Germany produces Pinot with terroir, elegance and fruit for values not seen in other regions. Most of the Salwey vineyards are planted on volcanic soils in Baden which lends itself to aromas of smoke, savory meat and violets. The palate brings through flavors of plums, game and graphite. There is beautiful acidity and a finish that never ends. Enjoy with game birds or lamb.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WE 94

2015 Domaine de Bila Haut "Les Vignes de Bila Haut" Côtes du Roussillon Villages
Review Date: 03-19-2017
Aromas of freshly made blueberry compote, white flowers and anise pop from the glass. Flavors of sweet plums, figs, blackberries and a thread of black pepper grace the palate. Soft, supple tannins round out this incredibly gulpable wine. A perfect everyday drinker to keep around the house.

2014 Gitton Père & Fils "Montachins" Sancerre
Review Date: 03-17-2017
Aromas of flint and pepper with flavors of lemon, stoney minerality and searing acidity. Bright and lean, this will pair great with seafood. This is serious Sancerre that will develop into something even more special in a few years.
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

2010 Anderson's Conn Valley "Eloge" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 03-14-2017
This is an incredibly ethereal, balanced California Bordeaux blend. You will find aromas of black currents, tobacco and fresh cracked black pepper on the nose. The palate provides flavors of black plum, savory cooked meat and blackberry. There is a fruit purity with a thread of earth, loads of acidity and fine tannin structure. Simply, beautiful.
Price: Hidden View Price
VN 93

2014 Argyle "Reserve" Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
Review Date: 03-09-2017
The beauty of Willamette shines through in this Pinot with aromas of smoke and violets. The palate provides a mix of crunchy red fruits and dark fruits with lovely tobacco spice, slate-like minerality and spice.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WS 93 JS 92

2014 Château Saint Roch "Kerbuccio" Maury Sec
Review Date: 03-09-2017
Floral and dark , this wine is enticing and sexy with aromas of lavender and blueberry compote that reel you into a palate of violets, cassis, black pepper and coffee. Soft, integrated tannins and a fresh acidity provides lift and balance. This is one great value to keep around the house.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 93

2009 Franck Bonville "Millesime" Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 03-08-2017
Bonville is always one of my favorite Champagne producers. The 2009 Millesime shows its vintage with immediate drinkability, richness, and soft bubbles. Notes of brioche and caramel are accompanied by flavors of pear, apple and fresh minerality. Grab a couple of bottles because this one will go down fast,
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

2014 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 02-17-2017
I love how this Cabernet is so balanced and elegant yet still provides the weight that you want from Cali Cab!! The nose has aromas of cassis, spice box and coconut. On the palate flavors of blackberries with a core of graphite, bitter chocolate and coffee grounds. One of the best Cabs under $30.
Price: $25.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2014 Clos Saint Jean "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 02-05-2017
The Clos Saint Jean Chateanueuf is not for the faint of heart. This wine has power and persistence. It is quite young and would cellar well, but is also surprisingly expressive in its youth. Aromas of blueberry compote, rhubarb, lavender, and clove pop from the glass. Flavors of blackberry jam, star anise, and cassis are surrounded by structure, and power. Enjoy with a hearty oxtail stew!

2014 Domaine Drouhin "Arthur" Dundee Hills Chardonnay
Review Date: 01-27-2017
This is beautiful terroir-driven, French-style Chardonnay that exudes elegance. It is a clean, pure expression of Chardonnay from Willamette with aromas of fennel and white flowers, and flavors of pith, wet stones, almonds and white nectarines. And you get all of that ethereal beauty for under $30.

2014 Clos Bellane Côtes du Rhône-Villages Valréas
Review Date: 01-12-2017
Cote du Rhone lovers rejoice! This is village level CDR for under $20 and absolutely delicious. Aromas of dark cherry, white flowers and meat jump from the glass while flavors of raspberry, blackberry and graphite come through on the palate with soft integrated tannins that wrap around your mouth like silk. This bottle is sure to impress your friends so keep a few around the house.
Price: $15.99 Add To Cart
RP 90 - 92

2010 Château Bouscassé Madiran
Review Date: 01-09-2017
The Bouscasse Madiran uses primarily the Tannat grape, which gives this wine its distinct structure, but this Madiran is made in a more friendly, plush style, making it easier to drink now. Aromas of fennel, mint and blackberry give way to a palate of plums, cocoa nibs and graphite. Up front, the palate is soft and velvety, while on the finish it shows its Tannat structure and tannins making this wine you can drink now or easily cellar for many years to come.
Price: $21.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

1987 Domaine du Cardinat 28 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Bas Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 01-09-2017
The 1987 is the lightest of the three vintages, showing a bit more elegant and ethereal. Aromas of white flowers and almonds with a palate of roasted walnuts, dried apricots, szechuan peppercorn with a finish that is dry and structured.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2015 Leitz Rüdesheimer Riesling Trocken Rheingau
Review Date: 01-06-2017
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 Cart
RP 90

2015 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 01-06-2017
An eternal staff favorite, the "Insolite" returns for another incredible vintage. This vintage is truly special and extremely mineral driven, 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 Sylvain Gaudron "La Butte du Trésor" Vouvray Sec
Review Date: 01-06-2017
Year after year this is one of the best valued dry Vouvray offered. It delivers all the things you want from Chenin Blanc, high acid and opulent weight plus more ripe notes of peach skin, white nectarine and jasmine.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2015 Domaine Dugois Ploussard Arbois Rouge
Review Date: 01-06-2017
Ploussard is a little known varietal from the Jura that is light and elegant but provides so much character. This is a varietal the deserves more attention. It's lighter than Pinot but full of character. The nose has aromas of bramble, tea leaf, smoke and spices. The palate provides flavors of crunchy fruits like cranberry intertwined with savory, meaty components. It is bright and lifted but has game and earth too. It's beautiful with a slight chill on it as well. Next time you're looking for a light red, skip Pinot and impress your friends with Dugois Ploussard.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2009 Roederer Estate "L'Ermitage" Anderson Valley Brut Sparkling Wine
Review Date: 12-21-2016
The 'L'Ermitage' is a sparkling wine that can truly stand amongst Champagne. Lightly autolytic aromas of bruised apples and caramel lead to soft, moussey palate of quince, yellow apples, and a hint of cherry on the finish. What and delicious and impressive California sparkler.
Price: $45.99 Add To Cart
WS 92 W&S 90

Ohishi "'K&L Exclusive"' Single Sherry Cask #1023 Japanese Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 12-15-2016
What I love about the Ohishi is the combination of the beautiful texture you get from distilled rice and the wonderful balance of sherry characteristics imparted from aging in sherry barrels. Aromas of white flowers and almonds lead to a soft palate of cocoa, almond skins, toasted walnuts, and raisins.
Price: $74.99 Add To Cart

2015 Malat "Furth-Palt" Grüner Veltliner Kremstal
Review Date: 12-03-2016
Bright, zippy, fresh peeled lemon zest, prickly pears and white pepper make this zingy Gruner perfect to have around the house for parties and friends.
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart

2015 Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch (Müller-Burggraef) Bernkasteler Badstube Riesling Kabinett Mosel
Review Date: 12-01-2016
Classic notes of honeycomb and smoke turn to flavors of crunchy apples, exotic fruits like Asian pears and star fruit, and ginger and exotic spices. There is loads of texture and a long, mouthwatering finish that leaves you wanting more.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 WS 91

2015 Le Paradis Chinon
Review Date: 11-27-2016
This is 100% Cabernet Franc from the heart of the Loire Valley. This is always the perfect house red to keep around. The 'Le Paradis' is fresh and bright with notes of raspberry, plum, violets, black pepper and fresh crushed herbs like thyme and sage. Pair this with everything from salads, to steak.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2015 Schmelz Pichl Point Grüner Veltliner Smaragd Wachau
Review Date: 11-17-2016
This is not your juicy, easy going liter bottle of Gruner, this is serious Gruner Veltliner. This is a powerful, rich Gruner with lots of acid and lots of potential to age. Exotic spices, green peas, Asian pears, and stone fruit dance on your palate. Grab a few for Thanksgiving dinner and add a bottle to the cellar to try in 10 years, if you can wait that long.
Price: $26.99 Add To Cart

2015 Schmelz Steinriegl Riesling Smaragd Wachau
Review Date: 11-17-2016
The single vineyard Riesling from the Steinriegl vineyard comes from one of the few sites in Wachau that has special limestone silicate marble soils which Riesling thrives in. This terroir driven wine is aromatically captivating with notes of Meyer lemon, orange blossom, and beeswax beaming from the glass. On the palate, notes of river stones, white nectarine and chalk are coupled with racy acid, full body and a long, dry finish. This Riesling is gorgeous, and had the whole staff enamored.
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart

2015 Schmelz Stein am Rain Riesling Federspiel Wachau
Review Date: 11-17-2016
In Austria, Gruner Veltliner seems to get all the spotlight, but don't forget that Austria makes some exquisite, dry Riesling. This is Johann's entry level Riesling coming from the vineyard of Stein Am Rain that has alluvial and sandy soils which Rieslings does great in. This dry, juicy Riesling shows notes of honeysuckle, lemon, white peach and salinity. While there is great acid on this wine, the 2015 vintage provides this wine with big body and texture to balance.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Ancient Peaks/K&L Wine Merchants Paso Robles Zinfandel
Review Date: 11-16-2016
Not over ripe, jammy or too high in alcohol, this is a beautifully balanced Zinfandel. Cassis, figs, plums, berries and baking spice coat your palate with juicy acidity and soft, rich texture. This is elegant Paso Zin!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne (375ml)
Review Date: 10-30-2016
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: $18.99 Add To Cart

Charles Ellner "Carte d'Or" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-13-2016
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 white nectarine, cranberry and a hint of caramelized apples. This is an incredibly complex Champagne for under $35 a bottle.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

2015 Michel Delhommeau "Harmonie" Muscadet Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie
Review Date: 10-13-2016
The "Harmonie" Muscadet is a consistent staff favorite due to the fact that year after year it drinks well beyond its price point. Muscadet, not to be confused with Moscato, is a wine making region in the coastal area of the Loire Valley where they make a very dry, mineral driven wine from a grape called Melon de Bourgogne. With aromas of wet stones, sweet peas and white flowers, the palate shows chalky, limestone minerality with flavors of lemon curd and white nectarine. Consume this bright, dry, mineral-driven wine the way the locals do, with oysters or just about anything from the sea.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

Cruz Vieja Viña Roble Amontillado Jerez
Review Date: 10-01-2016
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 WS 90

2013 TWR (Te Whare Ra) "SV5182 - Single Vineyard" 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.

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

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: $12.99 Add To Cart

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: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 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: $29.99 Add To Cart

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

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

Page: 1 2 next