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Staff Favorites - Illya Haase
2010 Cune "Imperial" Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 02-04-2016
There is no other wine like the Rioja from Alta! The moment you pour the glass and it hits your nose, you know exactly where you are. Aromas of subtle spice linger in the glass. Violets, cinnamon and dried cherries are the benchmarks for an old world Rioja. As it is relatively young, the fruit is a little more seductive, but the underlying earth, leather and sweet crushed floral are the highlights. Rounded out by amazing acidity and polish tannins this is the ultimate food wine! Start out with Morcilla and end with a roasted leg of lamb. Nothing could be more perfect!
2014 Franck Millet "Vieilles Vignes" Sancerre
Review Date: 12-31-2015
Franck Millet is one of my favorite Direct Import producers. Always delivers way beyond the the price! Super dry with a wonderful showing of limestone on the palate. Perfect for that cheese plate or oysters on the half shell.
2009 Elisabeth Goutorbe Brut Champagne
Review Date: 12-31-2015
If you need a party Champagne, look no further. It is here! Elisabeth Goutorbe Champagne is a classic blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and is light, bright and beautifully made. Citrus fruits jump out of the glass, followed by lovely, freshly-baked biscuit flavors. This can be served on its own, or with party nibbles. Amazing with seafood, too.
2012 Truquet, St-Émilion
Review Date: 12-31-2015
What a wonderful Right Bank gem! This is the kind of wine that makes K&L such a great place to shop! Silky smooth with herb and mineral. Perfect finish with no over the top tannins. This is a great match for any meat on the BBQ!
2010 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Crianza Rioja
Review Date: 11-29-2015
Time and time again one of the best direct imports for the money!! Delightful plush fruit but still that old school Rioja spice. But, it is the acidity that makes this wine perfect for any occasion. By the glass or with food makes Lesmos a marvelous choice for any gathering.
2012 Trim California Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-28-2015
This California Cabernet really delivers for the price! Mainly Cabernet with a little splash of Merlot. Full bodied, elegant and pops with juicy cherry, raspberry, herb, spice box. Perfect amount of acidity really cleans the palate. What a great everyday wine. Go to for those parties where you want to impress but stay with in budget. Does not hurt that 2012 was the perfect growing season for California Cabernet!
Antech "Brut Nature" Blanquette de Limoux
Review Date: 11-27-2015
This is as dry as it gets folks. Zero dosage. Which means outstanding acidity! Perfect for that signature cocktail at your holiday party. Did I mention bone dry and a amazing ability to pair with everything on the holiday menu. Keep a case on hand for all the events on busy holiday calendar.
2014 Domaine de Millet Colombard-Ugni Blanc Cotes de Gascogne Blanc
Review Date: 11-27-2015
What a lovely wine. From the Côtes de Gascogne, a blend of 50% Colombard and 50% Ugni Blanc. Fresh fruit and acidity with a surprising weight on the mid-palate. This is the perfect holiday wine. Just by itself or it can stand up to some great holiday food fare!
2013 D'Amico "Seiano" Lazio Rosso
Review Date: 11-01-2015
Great little red from Lazio. This is perfect for those who like New World wines, and would like to dip their feet in the Old World pond. Wonderful floral and red cherry bouquet. Throw in pizza, you got a perfect night! It's red, it's Italian. What do ya want?
2014 Allram Grüner Veltliner Kamptal (1L)
Review Date: 10-30-2015
Grüner is always such a refreshing wine. Great pop of acidity and white pepper. Grüner Veltliner goes with everything! Such a fantastic pairing with salads, fish and chicken dish. This is your perfect holiday wine for the table.
2014 Domaine de Verquière Côtes du Rhône
Review Date: 09-28-2015
Another new, fantastic DI (Direct Import) for K&L! Verquiere Cotes Du Rhone is one of the most complex and balanced Rhones I have had this year. Great layers black fruit, floral and spice, which you would expect. What I did not see coming was this backbone of minerality and lively acidity. With this super-long finish that keeps bringing you back to the glass. Get it while you can!
2013 Antech "Emotion" Cremant de Limoux Brut Rosé
Review Date: 09-18-2015
Antech Emotion Brut Rose is one of those great cross-over wines. Perfect with food and very nice as an aperitif! Highlights of red berry, spice and a delicate creamy finish. This is the perfect party sparkling. With the holidays coming up quick! Buy it by the case.
2013 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica
Review Date: 08-14-2015
La Monacesca did it again! This is one of my top five white wines! Late harvest, low yields and a mineral-laden soil produces such a amazing wine. I know it is great when I can sit for a half an hour with one glass. Wonderful with food or on its own. No oak involved and none needed. Did I mention superb natural acidity? Give it a good decanting and watch the magic unfold. Intense, dry and fruity! What more could you want from a bottle under $20? Well if you ask me, grilled Santa Barbara spot prawns are a match made in Heaven!
2014 Terre da Vino "Masseria dei Carmelitani" Gavi di Gavi
Review Date: 06-28-2015
Hot summer days and nights call for a crisp white! Terre da Vino "Masseria dei Carmelitani" Gavi di Gavi will answer the call. Terre Da Vino is a top Italian winery which is located in the heart of the Langhe territory in the region of Barolo. On the nose, lovely white flowers and crisp green apples. On the palate, crisp lemon peel and enough body to hold up to any salad or light fish dish. Enjoy!
2014 Domaine la Chapelle Saint Victor Coteaux d'Aix en Provence Rosé
Review Date: 06-19-2015
Domaine Chapelle Saint Victor comes from the foothills of the Alpes de Provence, a classic area for producing Provence rosé. There is no surprise that it is light pink in color, which everyone looks for in a rosé. Bright, delicate and lively is what pops in the glass. This is a perfect picnic wine and will blend amazingly well with any light summertime dishes.
2012 Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Review Date: 06-18-2015
Once again the Jordan Chardonnay straddles that line between the new and old world taste. Pretty aromas of Mandarin orange and Honeysuckle. Which opens up to a rich and creamy mid-palate. But it is the acidity from the gravel deposit soil that gives this wine a elegance like no other! To all those who think California Chardonnay is one big oak bomb. Give yourself a treat and buy a bottle.
2014 Les Terres de St-Hilaire "Sagesse" VDP du Var Rosé
Review Date: 05-29-2015
This is the pale pink color that everyone is searching for in a rose. Made up of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. The nose is complex with citrus, namely lemon and grapefruit, and raspberries. On the palate, it is supple, ample, and complex. You can't beat the price of $13.99. Most rosés of this quality are reaching well into the twenty dollar range. Buy it for your next party, you won't be disappointed.
2012 Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico
Review Date: 05-29-2015
Always a standout for me in the sea of Chianti on the market. Great growing site just south of Gaiole in the hamlet of Monti in Chianti. All organic practices which bring out some very distinctive wines. Intense spice, fruit and mineral which makes it a perfect food wine. Pop open a bottle and transport yourself to the rolling Tuscan hills.
2012 Bucklin "Old Hill Ranch Ancient Field Blend" Sonoma Valley Red Blend
Review Date: 04-16-2015
It's primarily estate Zinfandel, then throw in the kitchen sink for the rest. But, what great grapes in that sink ! I refer to dry-farmed and certified organic, for one of the most unique red wines in the store . Think of great dark purple hue in the glass, nose of spice box and raked leaves ; much softer than expected on the palate, with a burst of blackberry compote and fantastic acidity. There is a grip of tannins though that finishes this wine . This is truly a one of a kind wine!
2009 Casanova di Neri "Tenuta Nuova" Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 03-30-2015
There is something to be said about less thinking, more drinking. Opinions and scores be damned! This my friends, is just a fantastic glass of wine! Aromatics on this wine are stunning. Picking up just a hint of vanilla. Then comes the dark cherry and violets. Luscious fruit, and a rich refined spice pop in your mouth. What a treat to drink. Food or not, this wine does not disappoint. This is one wine that is not easy to share. So choice your friends wisely.
2005 Bodegas Casa Juan Señor de Lesmos Reserva Rioja
Review Date: 02-26-2015
I love Rioja! With a vintage like 2005 you can't go wrong. This is very traditional bottle with wonderful earth and spice. The oak is very well integrated, so it is not over powering the plush fruit and spice on the palate. Rounded out by good acidity and super dry finish. Perfect for lamb or the next taco truck you hit.
2010 Bois-Malot, Bordeaux Supérieur
Review Date: 02-23-2015
In 1916 Jules Armand purchased the property located at Valenton St Loubès, a small town 25 km from Bordeaux. A stone's throw from the influence of the two rivers (the Garonne and Dordogne). It's these two rivers that add an early ripening and deeper concentration to the grapes. Great fruit and spice which gives way to a super dry finish. Perfect weekday wine.
2013 Pascual Toso Malbec Maipú
Review Date: 02-23-2015
Pascual Toso Malbec is like a great old friend. You always know what you are going to get. Plush blackberry and plum fruit. Wonderful tobacco and vanilla spice. Good acidity and silky tannins. Perfect wine for a outdoor BBQ or anything you want throw on the grill. With a price like this keep a case on hand at all times.
2014 Valentin Bianchi "Elsa Bianchi" Malbec Mendoza
Review Date: 02-23-2015
One of the top selling reds in the store year after year. Wonderful nose of dark fruit ( black cherry ) and spice ( dark mocha ). This is a big, rich, wine with a luscious mouth feel. The ultimate in silky smooth finish! Perfect party wine!
2011 La Massa "Giorgio Primo" Toscana
Review Date: 12-01-2014
What a wonderful find in some of the best vineyard sites of the Chianti Classico region (Conca D’Oro). On the hillsides of the town of Panzano this IGT first pops with vibrant color in the glass and lovely shades of violet and plum. On the nose it burst with floral, spice and seamlessly layered oak! Deep, rich and alluring mouthfeel. It keeps you reaching for the glass. Espresso roast, cassis, blueberries, blackberries and a hint of smoky tar rounds out the finish. This is one full-bodied wine! But, with that great Italian acidity. A fantastic gift for the holidays or any day for that matter! Enjoy--I know I am.
2010 Cantine Ascheri Barolo
Review Date: 11-01-2014
Very approachable Barolo. At a very approachable price! Classic tar, leather and rose petals on the nose. Wonderful mineral and fruit on the palate. Which gives way to a persistent acidity just calling for a prime rib in a porcini mushrooms sauces!
2013 Scarbolo Sauvignon Friuli
Review Date: 10-13-2014
Friuli is one of the top areas for white wines anywhere. This Sauvignon does not disappoint! Fruit and herbs for days in this wine. Just when you think you are going to get hit with some flabby mouth feel, BAM! Bone-dry acidity. A little more weight to it than your average Sauvignon Blanc. What a wonderfully long lasting finish too!
La Monacesca "Mirum" MV Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva 20th Anniversary
Review Date: 10-10-2014
One of my top white wines in the store. This is a treat for any wine drinker. The blend of 85% Verdicchio from the 2008 vintage, with 15% Verdicchio coming from the 2000-2001-2002-2004 vintages. In the hands of Aldo Cifola--and the way he manages wine operation can be seen in every detail. Tropical fruits, honey, ripe citrus and roasted almonds. Finish for days! This is very special wine and at this price it is a steal. With the holidays fast approaching this gift is perfect for any occasion.
Blason Isonzo Bianco (3L Bag-in-a-Box) (cannot ship)
Review Date: 10-01-2014
Lucky for us in Los Angeles it is a never ending summer. So, no reason not to have this one on hand for family and friends! Heck or just hanging poolside. Wonderful floral and acidity. Super long finish to stand up to any finger food you throw at. Don't forget because of the magically bag it last for weeks in the fridge! Great for camping trips too. Enjoy!!
2009 La Fortuna Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 07-07-2014
One of the most approachable Brunellos in the bunch. Intense dark berry color meets you in the glass. Rounded fruit with hints of plum and floral notes. Great acidity and velvety tannins. This is a balanced and powerful wine ready for any cut of meat you want to throw at it.
Carpano "Antica Formula" Sweet Vermouth (1L)
Review Date: 07-29-2012
One thing I learned in my twenty years of bar tending is. The better the ingredients, the better the drink. So, if you are making a Manhattan or one of those crazy whiskey drinks from your local mixologist. Keep the Carpano on hand. It make's any cocktail, ten thousand times better! You will not find a better vermouth!
Scrappy's Grapefruit Bitters 5oz
Review Date: 04-30-2012
It's citrus time at the Hollywood Farmers Market. There is nothing better on a lazy Sunday than a greyhound! This grapefruit and vodka cocktail is an ideal choice for a summertime brunch. The beauty of this mixed drink is in its simplicity. But, I like to spice mine up with a little Scrappy's Grapefruit bitters. It is that little extra that goes a long way!
Ariston Aspasie "Carte Blanche" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 02-27-2012
This is my kind of Champagne! Toasty, yeasty, and dry. The price speaks for itself! We are so lucky to get great champagne at sparkling wine prices!
Philippe Gonet Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 12-30-2011
I know you all have been waiting patiently. The time has come for me to choose my New Years Eve Champagne! It's Philippe Gonet Brut Rosé!! This my friends is made entirely from estate grown Pinot Noir. And, did I mention Premier Cru grapes! WHAT!! All this for $39.99! It's a steal. Happy New Year!
Deligeroy Cremant de Loire Brut
Review Date: 11-25-2011
In our recent staff tasting for sparkling wines. This by far was top of the class! I brought it to start the Thanksgiving Day events. Deligeroy did not disappoint! It went perfect with the root salad!
Deligeroy Crémant de Loire Brut Rosé
Review Date: 02-03-2011
This is well-balanced in the mouth and enhanced by a fresh but subtle finish. It also has tiny little bubbles, which always makes me happy! I love Cabernet Franc for sparkling wine, it has some great body and lovely fruit. For the price, buy a case!
Franck Bonville Grand Cru Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne
Review Date: 07-29-2010
For me, one of the best finds at our recent Champagne tasting! It's off-dry, with beautiful fruit and a nice toasty nose. All this from third generation winemaking family whose holdings consist of 15 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards. The winemaking here is all about elegance and finesse and allowing the terroir to speak for itself and it shows.