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Staff Favorites - Illya Haase

Illya Haase


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

2014 Faust Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Review Date: 11-14-2017
California is on the map for these big, beautiful, muscle, Cabernets! Still in its youth, this 2014 is going to be something special. Unbelievable, the nose gives off at least twenty different flavors and aromas. To name a few, look for blackberries, cocoa, coffee, wood spice and tobacco. On the palate, a vibrant nose of supple, rich blackberries kick of acidity. Yet It is not just fruit and alcohol, the tannins seem almost restrained for a wine of this magnitude. Not for the faint of heart, the deep ruby color lures and mesmerizes, at the same time trying to explain what keeps you reaching for more. Match with that t-bone sizzling on the grill.
Price: $39.99 Add To Cart
JS 94 RP 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

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

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 Cart
JS 92

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

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