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When it鈥檚 time to celebrate, it鈥檚 time to raise a glass. For TCU鈥檚 150th anniversary, a special edition wine 鈥 actually two 鈥 will commemorate the occasion. Saarloos + Sons winery in California鈥檚 Santa Ynez Valley has created a cabernet sauvignon and a sauvignon blanc to commemorate the university鈥檚 Sesquicentennial.

The winery is operated by the Saarloos family 鈥 as in Kirk Saarloos, TCU鈥檚 head baseball coach. His brother, Keith, now runs the winery, a fourth-generation business that鈥檚 truly a family affair. It鈥檚 only fitting they would be the creator of TCU鈥檚 commemorative wine.

鈥淓very one of our wines is an estate wine, which means we grow the grapes, we pick them and we bottle the wine,鈥 Keith Saarloos said from the winery, located in Los Olivos. 鈥淲e consider the grape the body, the wine its soul. Our family鈥檚 wine is from our blood, sweat and tears.鈥

Normally Saarloos wine is only sold at the winery or direct. But an exception is being made for the TCU 150, which will be available in limited quantities at the TCU Campus Store by spring.

鈥淭CU supports my brother, and our family loves this school so much that I immediately said, 鈥楲et鈥檚 do it,鈥 when we were asked,鈥 Keith said. His daughter Brielle will attend TCU in the fall. 鈥淚t鈥檚 an unbelievable honor.鈥

It was also an honor for June Naylor Harris 鈥79, longtime local food writer and wine enthusiast, to sample and provide tasting notes.

鈥淕etting to do a tasting was a treat and privilege,鈥 she said. Both wines 鈥渂lew her away.鈥

Of the sauvignon blanc, she provided these tasting notes: A medium-bodied wine with smooth balance of mineral and acidic tones, softened with notes of stone fruit, honeydew and fresh herbs. Pair this wine with soft cheeses, from goat and feta to green peppercorn brie with grapes and granny smith apples; smoked salmon and salty nuts; Thai-spiced shrimp and herb-grilled chicken.

Of the cabernet sauvignon, her tasting notes: Rich and bold with moderate acidity, this lush wine exudes deep, dark fruit tones with earthy notes and just a hint of spice and herbs at the finish. Lovely tannins and solid structure throughout. Pairs well with spice-rubbed beef tenderloin and lamb skewers with rosemary-blackberry glaze; grilled game, such as venison or elk; charcuterie boards with aged hard cheeses, cured meats and berries; and dark chocolate truffles.

鈥淚 wasn鈥檛 surprised by the quality,鈥 she said. 鈥淭his is wine-making with a lot of integrity. These are really versatile wines and a consummate California white and red.鈥

wine150The bottle labels are also special and were created by TCU partners using a special edition, gold anniversary crest, which is reserved for limited use. The back of the bottle includes the primary 150th mark in addition to details about the wine.

鈥淭his is a really special year,鈥 said Creative Director Kris Copeland. 鈥淣ot only do we get to create materials that celebrate 150 years of our history, but we鈥檙e also creating the artifacts that future generations of Horned Frogs will look back on.鈥

According to Patricia Mansfield, general merchandise manager at the Campus Store, sales will launch in late February, with limited quantities available. Those purchasing will have an opportunity to make a gift to . The price for the red is $119, the white $69.

鈥淭hey should be a big hit,鈥 said Naylor Harris. 鈥淥nce people get a taste, they鈥檙e going to want to have some at home.鈥

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