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Staff Favorites - Illya Haase

Illya Haase

Reviews

2005 Balblair 13 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask No. 224 Cask Strength Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky 750ml (ships as 1.5L)
Review Date: 03-29-2019
I love bourbon. So it's rare that I find a Scotch that for me hits that "sweet spot." Enter the Balblair 13 Year Old "K&L Exclusive" Cask No. 224 Cask Strength Single Cask Highland Single Malt Whisky. It has cracked my code. Aromatically, it opens up beautifully with subtle fruit, banana, toffee, and vanilla, and then the scent of light smoke fills the glass. I haven't even taken a sip yet! Complex, big, and rich, there's a complex array of wood, fruit, and spice. The finish is long, warm, and has the right amount of cinnamon and barrel char. This is perfect to enjoy while smoking a good cigar in front of an open fire. It's also perfect to enjoy on a Tuesday night with a frozen pizza from the oven. What I'm saying is that this is THE Scotch that will enhance ANY night!
Price: $89.99 Add To Cart

2017 Jacky Blot Domaine de la Butte "Pied de la Butte" Bourgueil
Review Date: 03-22-2019
I love how different wines express themselves in their own unique ways. Lately, I've had a fair share of people who come in and ask about our organic wines. I want to share some background information on organic wines and share some details on one of my personal favorites. An organic wine is a wine made from grapes that have been grown without the use of artificial or synthetic chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides. To keep the weeds and pests away, organic farmers work with nature rather than against it. They do this by boosting their vineyard's biodiversity. By doing that, to me, one can really taste the "terroir" or the "where-ness" of the wine. The more complex the wine is, the more it will spark thoughtfulness and appreciation, sip after sip. With that said, a perfect example is this wonderful Cab Franc from Bourgueil. Intense cherry, strawberry, and violet notes shine through due to the vines being grown on clay and flint soils. Then, raspberry and spice evolve into leather and roasted meat which then fold into mineral undertones. All together, the intense fruit of red raspberries and black pepper marry perfectly with the leather notes, robust earthiness, and stony minerality. The finish bursts with a fresh, bright acidity that tingles on the palate. That's a lot of action for such a modest price. But, don't take my word for it...pick up a bottle (or case) for yourself. You won't be disappointed!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
JG 92

1987 Fitte et Laterrade 31 Year Old "Domaine Le Chaou" Bas-Armagnac (750ml)
Review Date: 03-22-2019
Wow, what an Armagnac! This 30 year old is bursting with dried apricot, figs, a bit of butterscotch, and toasted almonds. Magnificent elegance and finesse swirl from the glass. This is among the richest Armagnacs I've ever tasted. With plenty of sweetness on the palate, it still has wonderful power and warmth going down. And that pop of vanilla, drying oak, walnut, and cinnamon really accent the long finish. This is a must have for anyone who enjoys the brown spirits!
Price: $139.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 12 per customer

2016 Mas Karolina Côtes du Roussillon-Villages
Review Date: 02-14-2019
I know it is easy to go to the grocery store and buy wine. But, I must tell you quality matters! Mas Karolina is one of those wines, that you will not find there. Our buyers search far and wide to come up with gems like this. At the the first whiff its intoxicating aromas lure you in. Blackberry compote, vanilla bean and violets dance in the glass. The taste is pure pleasure. Wonderful fruit of dark berries and a surprising splash of acidity. Good tannin structure and a long velvet finish. Once again, some much wine for the price. Trust me, you wont find this kind of wine in the grocery store.
Price: $16.99 Add To Cart
RP 92

2016 Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru "Les Cazetiers"
Review Date: 02-03-2019
When the wine gods are very kind, it's a rare occasion, unless luckily you happen upon K&L Wines and hear my spiel where I might lead you to try a bottle primarily due to the price point. I introduce the wines of Burgundy, particularly Domaine Louis Jadot Gevrey Chambertin 1er Cru Les Cazetiers, if you are in a special mood or celebrating a night reserved for advancing your wine experience. This is one of those wines that slows you down. I dream of scents and textures all rolled into one bottle. Just upon reaching the glass to your nose, scents of black cherry, red cherry, wood spice and elegant florals lure you to try more than one glass. Rich opulent cherries dance back and forth between medium and full bodied palate. Minerals and sweet spices carry through the persistent, smoky, finish which pervades long after you have put the glass down.

Maker's Mark 46 "K&L Exclusive Barrel #906" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 01-29-2019
Maker's Mark 46 "K&L Exclusive Barrel #906" Private Select Kentucky Bourbon is finally here! Being a Kentuckian, I am proud to say, that it is one hell of a bottle! I was very lucky to taste this barrel and at the first whiff you are in for something special. Out of the gate, catch that big blast of mocha. Cinnamon, burnt brown sugar, sweet corn vanilla and dried fruit are a few others that rise out of the glass. First sip, note the candied “Red Hots,” then on to the baked pear and butterscotch. A little dash of water punches up the spice component. For a completely different glass of bourbon, the finish is pure heaven, captivating; with just the right amount of burn and bite that feels like a warm blanket that coats every inch of you.
Price: $69.99 Add To Cart

2017 Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia Greece
Review Date: 11-13-2018
I have found the new wine for any fancy pants Chablis drinker. Crisp, angular, minerally, steely, with great tension and acidity! All these adjectives are perfect descriptors of this refreshing white wine: Gentilini Robola Cephalonia Greece. I feel like I have to write the whole thing, because it’s going to be the next big white from Greece. This checks all the boxes when it comes to dry white wine drinkers. Awesome freshness and sublime citrus that lingers, with marvelous complexity. Just sit back, close your eyes, take a sip and be transported to the cobalt blue seas of Greece.​ Fancy pants optional. ​
Price: $17.99 Add To Cart
RP 91

Russell's Reserve Single Barrel "#17-314" (Rickhouse B, 6th Floor) K&L Exclusive Kentucky Straight Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 11-06-2018
Russel’s Barrel 17-314 was a stand out for me. I am spitting hairs because they are all exceptionally distinct, but 314 had me at the nose: intoxicating wood spice, subtle cinnamon, and charred vanilla bean. The front palate was soft, but had a great complexity, with a pop of caramel, vanilla and toffee. Mid palate opens with a burst of red hot candies, baking spice, and cloves. The finish has a great balance with honey and cinnamon notes that warm you for ages. It’s hot and high in alcohol, but in the best possible way! This will be a great go to on those long winter nights!
Price: $64.99 Add To Cart

Wathen’s Private Barrel #3597 "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel Straight Kentucky Bourbon (750ml)
Review Date: 10-11-2018
Who likes Banana's Foster? Well my friends, it is right here in the amazing, single barrel from Wathens! Dark brown sugar, toffee, walnut, and cinnamon, permeate my glass. One sip drives a penetrating fire of spice, malt and vanilla, with a lingering finish of mint and toasted oak. This is the perfect campfire bottle.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart

2017 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini Greece
Review Date: 08-16-2018
I am always on the look out for a under twenty dollar wine that over deliveries. The Santo Assyrtiko fits the bill! With aromas of stone fruit, lemon zest and a hint sea salt. Light and bright with just the right amount of acid, that leaves the palate fresh and clean. Pop of melon, mineral and smoke from that volcanic soil. Leaves you reaching for the bottle. Vivid, with full, well balanced body and distinctive long finish! Grilled octopus, please!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
W&S 93

2014 Dominio del Aguila "Picaro" Clarete Ribera del Duero
Review Date: 06-29-2018
I am a big fan of weird and funky wines. This is one of those wines that fits the bill! For me to spend $29.99 for a Rose’, it had better be worth it, After all, I can get some fantastic K&L Rose’s for under $15.00! What does it mean when I say “worth it to me”? The wine should be one that slows me down, allows me to contemplate what is happening in the glass. From the beginning, it is a mixed bag of red and white grapes: Tempranillo, Albillo, Garnacha and Bobal to be exact. 20 months of oak gives it a bit more weight, and there’s a slightly oxidative tone which leads me to smile. red fruit, orange peel, walnuts, hazelnuts, curry, wood spice and I haven’t taken a sip yet. Razor-sharp focus of citrus, tangy cranberry and wild strawberries add up to a refreshing, super-dry, elegant, but fruitful pink summer wine. This is a serious food wine, my friends, ideal with Spanish cheeses, Mediterranean vegetables, Spanish tapas or the ultimate pairing Morcilla !!!
Price: $29.99 Add To Cart
RP 93

2016 Domaine Glinavos "Paleokerisio" Semi-Sparkling Orange Wine Epirus Greece (500ml)
Review Date: 06-28-2018
Orange wine from Greece??? Yes, my friends, this wine is pure pleasure in a glass. Orange color, hence the name. Technically, the color comes from de-stemmed grapes resting in an oak case for 12 days during the fermentation process. Put the glass to your nose and you think you are in for one funky ride. On the contrary, a slight effervescence sparks a balanced sweet cherry fruit tangled with clove spice. The finish is dry with a nice tannic edge, refreshing acidity and bitterness. Great with grilled octopus!
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart

2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 04-13-2018
I seem to be reviewing my share of Cally Cabs as of late. I just really love the Napa Cabernet 2013 and 2014 vintages! The Freemark Abbey is no exception. With a deep, dark hue coating the glass, I know I am in for a treat. Nose pops with spiced plum, currants and a touch of oak. But, those black and blue fruits, I find so inviting on the palate! Dark coco, dried herbs and licorice round out the back end. Seamless tannins and acidity make for a long finish, that I just don't want it to end. Lucky we have quite a few bottles but at this price I know it won't last. Don't take my word for it. Do yourself a favor and pick up a bottle. You won't be disappointed.

Knob Creek K&L Exclusive Single Barrel #5851 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 03-30-2018
Fred Noe, you done did it again! This Knob Creek Rye is something else! The nose is vanilla, cloves and oaky undertones. The flavor immediately coats the entire mouth, with nutmeg and cinnamon giving way to pepper and vanilla on the front with a hint of walnut and allspice across the middle before finishing with that gripping cinnamon spice and that wonderful Knob Creek burn. It's 115 proof, but you would not know it! Super balanced, this warms you up from all the way down!! Get it while you can.
Price: $47.99 Add To Cart

2014 Bonny Doon "A Proper Claret" Red Blend
Review Date: 01-23-2018
I love big, rich wines. Even been accused of loving a fruit bomb or two. Bonny Doon always delivers. Let me say that this big wine is rather light on its feet. Alluring nose of of violets, black licorice and graphite but the palate is where it really dances. Spicy red fruit and vanilla spice with a slap of acidity and a smooth dry finish. Proper structure and clarity with a balance of fruit and earth. Slow cooked wild boar sliders should be on the menu with this little surprising showstopper.
Price: $9.99 Add To Cart
JS 90

Antech Blanquette de Limoux Brut Nature
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

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

Russian River Brewing "Blind Pig" IPA, California (500ml) (IN STORE ONLY - SF) (6 bottle limit per customer)
Review Date: 02-27-2012
This may be the best beer ever! But, one is enough: trust me.
Price: $5.99 Add To Cart
Limit of 6 per customer

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

2006 Sesta di Sopra Brunello di Montalcino
Review Date: 11-28-2011
Sesta di Sopra delivers! I find every year the quality is superb. One of the best Brunello's on the market. With it's amazing aromas of blackberries, sandalwood and dried flowers. Roasted meats are the way to go!

Aecht Schlenkerla "Oak Smoke" Rauchbier, Germany 500 ml
Review Date: 03-17-2011
So, here it goes. I am German. Sso that would mean I should love German beer, right? The Aecht Schlenkerla "Oak Smoke" from Rauchbier was a little much for me at first. That is until I had it with its proper food: something highly seasoned and fatty, especially pork.
Price: $6.49 Add To Cart

Deligeroy "La Petite Marquise" 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

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
WS 90