Staff Favorites - Illya Haase

Illya Haase


Jefferson's "K&L Exclusive" Reserve Very Old Small Batch Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 09-21-2017
Born and raised in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, I feel it is my duty to review any Bourbon that comes through the door. I'm pretty picky, but this Jefferson's K&L Reserve Very Old Small Batch has certainly caught my attention! Up front on the nose is pleasing vanilla, cedar spice, toffee and butterscotch. The heat from the alcohol is rather tame. This is even before I put a drop of water to open up the aromatics. With a drop of water it leans to more supple notes. Now more dried fruit less pepper and cinnamon. Without water the taste is firm with big oak, baking spice and bitter sweet chocolate. With that touch of water it really softens it, but I prefer it straight out of the bottle. At full strength the balanced spice goes down easy, though with a delightful dried fruit note to contrast. Finish is long and keeps you warm all over. Perfect for a rustic autumn night. Grab a bottle with some friends and just enjoy last few mild days before old man winter takes hold.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2016 Domaine Begude "Terroir 11300" Chardonnay Haute Vallée de l'Aude
Review Date: 09-20-2017
One of my favorite producers in our Direct Import campaign is Domaine Begude. They always over-delivers in quality, terroir and price! Hell, it says Terroir in the name. He also does a secret Gruner Veltliner but keep it on the down low. Let’s get back to the Chardonnay 11300. The cool nights produce some high acid Chardonnay. For anyone who says they don't like Chardonnay because of the overwhelming oak, I’d love to put this bottle in their hands. Fresh and lively, it bursts with green apple and pear on the nose. An underlying minerality keeps coming up from start to finish, with just a hint of oak adding some some nice palate weight and some subtle aromas of apple crumble and cinnamon spice. Yet, all the while, that fantastic minerality blasts through. With its super long finish, it would be a perfect pairing with a lemon roasted chicken.
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart
DC 90

2011 Columbia Crest "Reserve" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 09-15-2017
I am always on the lookout for a good deal. If I can find a wine with some bottle age, that is even better! Columbia Crest "Reserve" is just that bottle. It provides a delightful nose of blackberry, graphite and cedar wood smoke with a super velvety texture on the tongue. The Reserve is elegantly dry and balanced mid-palate, which leads to an expressive, lingering finish, including seamlessly sublime tannins. Once again with a little time in the bottle all the flavors of the wine are in complete balance. This will be a great case buy for the holidays!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
WS 91 RP 90

Old Forester K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #2023 Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whisky (750ml)
Review Date: 08-30-2017
Back in the day there was a candy called "Red Hots”; “hard candies that hit you from your nose to your toes." actually, a quote from the candies web site. Well, my friends, Old Forester 2023 does the exact same thing!! Lots of glorious cinnamon, with a splash of caramel and vanilla from the first whiff in the glass. Aroma gives way to a delightful mix of butterscotch, black cherry and honey. I like to throw an ice cube in for 30 seconds which reduces the heat and brings out that superb cinnamon and a lovely earthy cared oak. The finish goes down like a warm apple pie on a cool autumn evening. Come on down to K&L and get while you can.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2015 Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Carneros Chardonnay
Review Date: 08-24-2017
California Chardonnay. Always a polarizing talking point for people who love wine. Shafer "Red Shoulder Ranch" Chardonnay is no exception. But, here is my take. What is wrong with a great glass of wine. This Chardonnay is bursting out of the glass with alluring tropical fruit, lemon peel and Asian pear spice. Nothing wrong with that so far right? I know what your thinking, its nothing but oak on the first sip. This Chardonnay hits you with dazzling acidity and a cool smokey minerality. Didn't see that coming did you? Exquisite creamy texture with a touch of baked apple, once again carried through with persistent acidity for a super long finish. What seamless balance in this wine. I long for some Salmon sashimi as I write up this stunning glass of Chardonnay. From California I might add!

2013 Domaine Bruno Colin Bourgogne Blanc
Review Date: 08-24-2017
Wow, what a wine! I love Burgundy! All the way back to my to my sommelier days. Working the tables at some of the best restaurants in town. The customers would from time to time bring in some amazing Burgundies, which they would so graciously let me try. So, I got a little spoiled on my Burgundy palate. I knew I could never afford those bottles so I just moved on to other wines. But, lately there has been a little light at the end of the Burgundy tunnel. K&L is bringing in some amazing Burgundies. That can fit any budget! Bruno Colin is one of those producers that should not be missed. Take just the Bourgogne Blanc. What a delightful bottle. From the glass you can smell the sublime limestone and cirtus. On the palate, a balance of fruit, acidity and a heavier mouthfeel than one would think. Bright saline and apple finish. Just such a fabulous wine from beginning to end. This is just Bruno's entry-level wine! Wait til you explore the rest. With a price like this I think I will treat myself to a lobster roll.
Price: $14.99 Add To Cart

2013 Raymond "Reserve Selection" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 08-04-2017
Points be damned, if this is not one hell of a Napa Cabernet! This is the perfect steak night wine! The very vibrant nose has the lustrous aromas of violets, fresh blackberries, dried fruits, red currants, which dominate the very first whiff on opening the bottle. Big, round, silky and smooth it slides down way too easy. Toasty notes and a supple minerality add great length to the finish. Fire up the grill but I would get two bottles 'cause the one bottle will be gone before the meat is on the table!

2012 Altvs Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 07-27-2017
As California Cabernets go they have been on a hot streak when it comes to vintages. Unfortunately 2012 has been pushed aside by 2013 and 2014, whereas I find the 12 to be very balanced from beginning to end. The Altvs is no exception. Out of the glass, you will find fully ripe blackberry, cassis, plum aromas and flavors; a second round captivates with violet, tobacco and new leather. The first sip is loaded with intense candied fruit composed of sweet plums and ripe red berries, yet it is the integrated fruit, acidity and tannins that keep me coming back to the glass again and again. Full-bodied with soft tannins, a velvety mouthfeel and a long, lingering finish. I think in end 2012 vintage will be up there right along side with the 13 and 14 vintage.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 91

2015 Domaine Tabordet "Le Champs des Vignes" Pouilly Fumé
Review Date: 06-22-2017
We always talk about Sancerre so much, I often forget about the other Sauvignon Blanc across the Loire River, Pouilly-Fume. Domaine Tabordet’s "Le Champs des Vignes" right out of the glass gives you that special quality that you find in Pouilly Fume -- flint! The flint gives way to citrus peel, tropical fruit and white floral notes. What I love about Pouilly-Fume is that it has more palate weight than most other Sauvignon Blancs, Sancerre included. The spot on stone fruit and chalky notes on the tongue keep you reaching for more. The mouth is long, fruity and dense. A perfect match for your shellfish, goat-cheese or just sitting out on the deck watching the world go by!
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart

2014 Dominus "Napanook" Napa Valley Bordeaux Blend
Review Date: 05-18-2017
I love it when wine surprises me! I went in thinking the Napanook was going to be this BIG, RICH, FULL-bodied monster. What I got was an elegant, medium-bodied wine. With wonderful savory and mineral notes, with a host of graphite, floral and dark berry fruit that open up in the glass. Graceful acidity, which is a good indicator that this wine is in for the long hall! So if you can give it a couple of years you will be rewarded.

2014 Marietta "Angeli Cuvee" Sonoma County Red Blend
Review Date: 04-29-2017
Marietta reds always over-deliver for price and quality. The "Angeli" is no exception! Big, bold and beautiful is what awaits you in the glass. The Angeli Cuvee has a generous array of flavors and aromas of dark berries, tobacco, black pepper, and supple hints of oak. This is a very well balanced wine with a super long finish. Enjoy this with any of your summertime BBQ affairs.
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
RP 90

2013 Tormaresca "Neprica" Puglia
Review Date: 05-20-2016
Tuesday night pizza wine anyone!! This red delivers with great red ripe wild berries, floral and herbal spice. A lovely balance of acidity and tannins. With summer right around the corner. It is amazing with any grilled meats too! Sure to please at any event. From pizza and a movie on the couch or outdoor event with all your great summertime eats!
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart

2009 Egrot (formerly Elisabeth Goutorbe) Brut Grand Cru 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.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

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.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

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.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
JS 92

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.
Price: $10.99 Add To Cart

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!!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart

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!
Price: $28.99 Add To Cart
WE 95

2005 Verdignan, Haut-Médoc
Review Date: 05-28-2012
This is my affordable steak wine. Now, while I am not a high roller. If I am going to spend money on a great NY strip. The wine hold's up it's end of the bargain. Great acid and silky tannins. Matches perfectly with the steak.
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart
WS 90

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!
Price: $19.99 Add To Cart

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!
Price: $27.99 Add To Cart

Ariston Aspasie Brut Rosé Champagne
Review Date: 02-26-2012
This my friends is my go to Rose Champagne! Great acidity, intermingled with some bright cherry notes. Balanced minerality which is perfect for some salmon or Friday night sushi!
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart

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!
Price: $11.99 Add To Cart

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!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

Collard-Picard "Cuvée Selection" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 01-28-2011
Collard-Picard is a relatively new Champagne house, but with very old ties, which means they are getting a hold of some great fruit and, in turn, are making some great wines! I just love the toasty notes in this Champagne. It has also got a backbone of mimerality and acid that can stand up to meal.
Price: $49.99 Add To Cart

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.
Price: $34.99 Add To Cart
WE 91 WS 90