Staff Favorites - Illya Haase

Illya Haase


2014 Benmarco Malbec Uco Valley
Review Date: 02-22-2018
One of my favorite go-to Malbecs! Great black and blue fruits, fresh floral bouquet of violets and just a hint of minerality. Super smooth with just the right amount of acidity and tannins. Perfect whisper of oak from a year in neutral barrels. This is such a slam dunk with any grilled meat or BBQ!!

2016 Bernhard Ott "Am Berg" Grüner Veltliner Niederösterreich (Biodynamic)
Review Date: 02-07-2018
Looking for a very serious white wine at a very un-serious price. Bernhard Ott “Am Berg” is a cut above. This Biodynamic Gruner boasts the classic white pepper, citrus, apple flavors and a vivid acidity. If you are a lover of a good Riesling, Pinot Grigio or some of the fruitier Sauvignon Blancs, this is a great variety to expand your horizons. With incredible mineral characteristics and a dry, zesty finish, this complex wine is a tastebud big-hitter. If you ever wonder what Wagram, Austria would taste like, its right in this bottle. With incredible snap of mineral notes and a dry, zesty finish, this is a great wine to dip your foot in the water for high end Gruner without the price tag. Had this with Indian food the other night but really pairs well with the hard to match vegetables. Enjoy!
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart
WE 92 JS 91

2013 Silverado Vineyards Estate Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 01-30-2018
On these cool winter nights there is nothing better than a big Napa Cabernet! Silverado reveals itself with plush notes of black fruit, dried herbs and espresso tasting notes. This is not about overblown fruit. It is big, but balanced with the fruit, oak and tannins, all well integrated. Silky smooth and velvety in texture, the classic Staggs Leap District Cab pervades. The balanced acidity makes for a long finish, with flavors that continue to warm the insides of the heart. Light a fire, open the bottle of Silverado and enjoy the magic that only a Napa Cabernet can bring.

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

2015 Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
Review Date: 01-12-2018
Tucked in the hills, just two miles from the Sonoma Coast, is the winery Flowers; always a very elegant Pinot Noir. With one of the most beautiful settings of any winery, this very special terroir produces some amazing wines, the nose blooming with wild raspberry , pomegranate, lavender, and rose petal. The new Flowers Sonoma Coast Pinot is remarkably balanced, cultivating soothing feelings of jubilation grafted with elegance and sophistication. Emerging from a selection of family - owned sites, and including aromas of wild strawberry, cranberry, delicate baking spices and forest floor lift elegantly from the glass. Very lively on the palate with a snap of acidity, red cherry, hibiscus and sea salt with graceful tannins round out the glass. Grilled lamb chops would be a fantastic pairing.
Price: $36.99 Add To Cart
VN 93 WE 92

2014 Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 12-11-2017
Where's the love … I always overlook this Cabernet. Always looking for the new, best, Napa red! We opened this the other day and much to our surprise, we discovered it to be a classic –a truly balanced Napa Cabernet! It certainly was more than approachable with the big 2014 fruit up front, alluring blackberry jam, cocoa powder and integrated oak on the nose. It has that great depth which lingers with the richness of black fruit. Why not tempt yourself with that elegant, velvet juciness, melting into polished tannins, with a delightfully long finish. I was so glad to have the opportunity to try this wine! With so many choices out there, I will not overlook this one anymore.

2013 Famille Perrin "Les Cornuds" Vinsobres
Review Date: 12-09-2017
If you have ever been in the LA Store and spoken with me, you would know I like anything under $15.00 that can claim to be amazing. This Rhone Red fits the bill. I am speaking of an ideal party-pleasing wine that anyone, no matter the palate, will enjoy. The nose is great with floral and spice. The taste combines round mouthfeel and a surprising minerality, which leads to a plush, subtle finish. Reach for this as a perfect pick for any holiday party or late night taco truck.
Price: $12.99 Add To Cart
VN 90 W&S 90

2015 Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara County Chardonnay
Review Date: 11-07-2017
Whatever camp you are in California or France, when it comes to Chardonays, the Au Bon Climat delivers a sublime bottle of Chardonnay, delighting with that rare combination of vanilla, crisp apple and toffee. The combination of great weight on the palate with citrus and pineapple,provides a high degree of gratification joining with that really nice pop of acidity and mineral which keeps your mouth zinging as it asks for more. With that spike of tartness and dry finish it would be a quintessential pairing for oyster stuffing. Look forward to bringing that sublime satisfaction to the dinner table.
Price: $18.99 Add To Cart

2014 Domaine Tourbillon "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Review Date: 10-29-2017
Wow, yet another superb find from our Rhone leader! This Chateauneuf-du-pape is rather light on its feet. I could tell from just looking at the glass itself, with that wonderful garnet hue, that I was in for a surprise. I was mesmerized by that burst of black cherry, white pepper and exotic wood spice on the nose and entranced by cherry cola, red raspberry with the great concentration of acidity. Well integrated tannins made this an irresistible go-to for anyone who enjoys a super-pleasing palate. With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, this is the perfect wine for the table!
Price: $24.99 Add To Cart
VN 91 - 93

Tom's Foolery Bottled In Bond Single Barrel #31 Ohio Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)
Review Date: 10-23-2017
If I ever review any whiskey that is outside of my beloved Bluegrass state it must mean it's great. The latest bottling from Tom's Foolery is just THAT! These Buckeyes are the first micro outside of Kentucky, and the first micro since the '50s, to release a bonded bourbon. Its nose is pure Ohio Courtland apple, charred toffee, vanilla and cinnamon. Spicy malt and toasted clove on the first sip. Nice warmth (spicy!) on the mid palate really awakens the sinuses!! Spicy cream corn and malted grains continues through the finish. With a cool winter green note perking up at the end. It begs for a fire, on a cool November night.
Price: $49.99 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!

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

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 Waiting List
JS 92

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

Fluteau "Cuvée Réservée" Brut Champagne
Review Date: 10-26-2012
One of the hits for me at our Champagne event was Fluteau! I love the cheesy and toasty notes that come from this champagne. Coming from the wine being left to age on the lees for three years. Notes of citrus and spice in a golden yellow hue. This will make a perfect Holiday wine! At this price you can give it out to all the family. This is a Champagne will are talking about here folks.
Price: $29.99 Add To Waiting List

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

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: $12.99 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

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