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 Philadelphiaís 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 peopleís 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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2011 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Rouge
Review Date: 3-1-2015
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 Cart BC 0

2013 Charles Trosset Mondeuse "Harmonie" Vin de Savoie-Arbin
Review Date: 2-27-2015
Mondeuse should be everyoneís new love affair. Itís sort of like youíre 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 Cart BC 0

2013 Mas de Daumas Gassac VDP de l'Herault Blanc
Review Date: 2-26-2015
This is such a unique wine, with a quirky cepage of grapes, itís hard to know what to expect. Itís 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 Iíve ever had. Itís 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 Cart BC 0

2013 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini
Review Date: 2-22-2015
I donít 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 Cart WS 91 BC 0

2013 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini
Review Date: 2-22-2015
I have always been a huge fan of this wine, itís crisp and juicy and perfect for crustaceans, but this vintage somehow manages to be even more complex and serious. The nose is showing notes of roasted hazelnuts and honeysuckle while the palate is citrusy and juicy with a fantastic weight and texture and flavors of beeswax, lemon zest and sea salt. Pair with shellfish or grilled white fish.

2006 Miguel Merino "Vitola" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 2-20-2015
If you're looking for a Rioja with some age, that's ready to drink, look no further. The 06' "vitola" has developed aromas of pine, mushroom and resin, while the palate has notes of chocolate, coffee grounds and roasted tomatoes. Tannins and acid are well integrated at this point and drinking beautifully.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart BC 0

2013 Josef Leitz RŁdesheimer Riesling Trocken
Review Date: 2-16-2015
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 Cart BC 0

2011 Tassi Rosso di Montalcino
Review Date: 2-16-2015
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 Cart ST 90 BC 0

2011 Maison Angelot Mondeuse Bugey
Review Date: 2-16-2015
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 Cart BC 0

2009 Baricci Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 2-8-2015
Baricci is classic old-school Brunello with a bouquet of herbs like rosemary and sage, cured meats and leather. The palate is reminiscent of black cherry, plum, mushroom and leather with fantastic acid and fine tannins. While some people have dismissed the 2009 vintage due to its lean nature, I love them for exactly that, totally drinkable with in the next five years instead of having to wait 15 years to drink it.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart ST 91 BC 0

2012 Domaine des Niales Rhedon-Marin M‚con-Villages Vieilles Vignes
Review Date: 2-8-2015
This is not the extra ripe, super oaked style of chardonnay, rather itís incredibly balanced and full of minerality. Thereís 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 Cart BC 0

2013 Spellbound California Chardonnay
Review Date: 2-8-2015
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 Cart BC 0

2013 Quinta da Aveleda Loureiro Alvarinho Vinho Regional Minho
Review Date: 2-6-2015
This is exactly what I want to drink everyday, especially in the warm LA winter that feels more like summer. Incredibly refreshing, crisp acidity, juicy lime, lemon zest, completely dry with bit of a richer body than most inexpensive Vinho Verde and a hint of effervescence making it perfect for porch sipping or accompanied by fresh seafood.

2013 Franck Millet "Insolite" Sancerre
Review Date: 2-6-2015
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 BC 0

2013 Zudugarai "Amats" Getariako Txakolina
Review Date: 2-4-2015
Itís 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 Cart BC 0

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