Deep, big, and brooding are still the first impressions the 2012 Solo Una Vez conveys to the wary taster, but appearances can be deceiving. Solo Una Vez, born of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot that emanate from two high mountain vineyard sites, may still appear foreboding, but this once in a lifetime venture is anything but unapproachable. The wine’s deep color underscores a wealth of seductive scents, and it embodies a tremendous cornucopia of flavors in the form of ripe berries, plums, cacao, spice, and more. Still equally intense and intriguing, the 2012 Solo Una Vez fills the mouth, satiates the palate, and makes the once circumspect taster beg for more. Add to Solo Una Vez’s resume a smooth texture born of the ripest tannins and a satiny patina from an extended stay in the finest oak barrels, and the 2012 Solo Una Vez shouts: “You are in for a treat, if only this once.” Suave, sophisticated, sensuous and downright seductive, this bold-flavored, complex wine continues to mature, gaining concentration and depth. Enjoy this wine now and for years to come. It’s our last chance. For optimal enjoyment, we suggest affording the 2012 Solo Una Vez at least 20-30 minutes of aeration before serving at cool room temperature (58°-62° F). Enjoy Solo Una Vez as long as our supply lasts!
What does one serve with the 2012 Solo Una Vez, a once in a lifetime wine? How about almost anything bold and beautiful? Thick-cut Porterhouse or Rib-eye steaks get our nod, as they do in Argentina, a country renowned for its beef and as well as its wine. Short rib sliders on brioche buns with smoked goat cheese, caramelized onions, and a side of truffle fries makes a fine pairing, as does another perennial favorite: Rack of lamb rubbed with garlic, olive oil and rosemary. Gemelli Bolognese, a rich ragu of ground beef, sweet Italian sausage, tomatoes, gemelli pasta, burrata and basil pesto provides another winning partner to Solo Una Vez. A Spanish Cobb Salad with grilled chicken Serrano ham, hard boiled eggs, roasted tomato, Manchego crisps, and avocado over romaine and spinach that are tossed in a Gorgonzola dressing make for a tasty pairing, too. For a simple, meatless treat, consider a burrata and white bean bruschetta with shaved Parmesan on toasted crostini. Buen Provecho!
Nick Ramkowsky and Ed Lehrman are two life-long wine guys who aren’t afraid to think big, take risks, and make big things happen. Nick began his wine career at North Berkeley Wine Shop while attending UC Berkeley, eventually becoming the store’s manager and wine buyer. Ed started collecting wine as a hobby and storing it in the bottom drawers of his dorm room at Duke University before heading to New York City where he landed a job with Sherry-Lehmann, one of the nation’s premier wine shops.
In 1999, Nick and Ed took a trip to visit wineries in Mendoza, Argentina, where they quickly realized the tremendous quality and potential in wine that lay unnoticed and untapped in Argentina, the world’s 5th largest producer of wine. They took their first big chance and decided to launch Vine Connections, a company devoted to the first nationally-imported portfolio of artisan wines from Argentina. Since the inception of Vine Connections in 1999, the availability and popularity of wines from Argentina has exploded. Vine Connections’ portfolio includes some of the greatest names in Argentinean wine, such as Graffito, Luca and Nick and Ed’s own special one of a kind Intuición Solo Una Vez, this month’s selection. As if putting the wines of Argentina on our radar wasn’t enough, a year after launching Vine Connections, Nick and Ed seized upon another big plan in which they introduced a line of premium ginjo sake to the US from 11 brewers to become the first non-Japanese company to nationally distribute sake. Since then, they have added an enviable line of appellation-based wines from diverse terroirs in Chile, and they have recently taken on an exciting array of California wines from innovative, super-premium producers. But Ed and Nick’s biggest idea is their once in a lifetime venture, Solo Una Vez.
According to Nick, “Solo Una Vez is an idea that came from dreaming about ‘what could be’ instead of ‘what has to be.’ Ed and I decided to make wine based on quality alone, not worrying about the usual economic burdens faced in the market. For this wine, we cut no corners on time, effort and expense. We boldly made the wine that was in our hearts, not in our heads. Because of the time, effort, and expense involved in this precise project, we decided this is something that should only be done once, which is reflected in the name, ‘Solo Una Vez’ or ‘Just Once.’ Wow! Were we crazy? What an unbelievable, time consuming project, but we did it. Along with winemaker Jimena Lopez (Graffito), we decided on the following requirements: Varietals that could make the best quality wine in Argentina, and we would make only 5 barrels of each. We would choose the specific vine rows from the top vineyards, and decide ourselves when to harvest, ferment the reds in new French barriques and punch down the wine by hand, and then only use the wines and barrels that are really exciting in the final varietal wines and blends. We used high altitude vineyards located in Tupungato and Agrelo (Luján de Cuyo) in Mendoza, Argentina. We aged the wine for 18 months in French oak barrels, and to express the singularity of the project, Argentine friend and artist, Valeria Guarnieri, painted canvases and cut the paintings into wine label-sized pieces so that each individual bottle has its own, unique canvas label.”
We invite you to taste and savor Intuición Solo Una Vez, a truly once in a lifetime wine. Nick and Ed also made a one-time very limited edition of 100% Cabernet Franc, Exploración Solo Una Vez 2012, which we hope to feature in the future.
Solo Una Vez, meaning “only one time,” is truly a once in a lifetime venture undertaken by Nick Ramkowsky and Ed Lehrman, co-founders of Vine Connections. The International Wine of the Month Club was the recipient of the lion’s share of this special wine and featured it upon release three years ago to considerable acclaim. On account of that acclaim, Nick and Ed have generously agreed to part with some of their personal stock, as an exclusive of The International Wine of the Month Club. This second release of Intuición Solo Una Vez is from the original once in a lifetime venture. Enjoy Intuición Solo Una Vez, one last time.
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