Fort Worth's TCU celebrates milestone the best way: with special-edition wine
Texas Christian University is celebrating its 150th anniversary with the unprecedented release of two special-edition wines, made by a California winery with a TCU connection.
According to a release, Saarloos + Sons winery in California’s Santa Ynez Valley has created a cabernet sauvignon and a sauvignon blanc to commemorate the university’s sesquicentennial.
The winery is operated by the Saarloos family, a fourth-generation business run by Keith Saarloos — brother of Kirk Saarloos, the head baseball coach at TCU.
"TCU supports my brother, and our family loves this school so much that I immediately said, 'Let's do it,' when we were asked," Keith says.
Keeping with family tradition, Keith's daughter Brielle will attend TCU in the fall.
Normally, Saarloos wine is sold only at the winery, located in Los Olivos, California, or else direct. But they're making an exception for the TCU 150, which will be available in limited quantities at the TCU Campus Store by spring.
“Every one of our wines is an estate wine, which means we grow the grapes, we pick them and we bottle the wine,” Keith says.
Food writer June Naylor Harris, herself a ’79 TCU graduate, provided tasting notes on the two wines, as follows:
Sauvignon blanc: A medium-bodied wine with smooth balance of mineral and acidic tones, softened with notes of stone fruit, honeydew, and fresh herbs. Pair with soft cheese such as goat, feta, and green peppercorn brie, with grapes and granny smith apples, smoked salmon, salty nuts, Thai-spiced shrimp, and herb-grilled chicken.
Cabernet sauvignon: Rich and bold with moderate acidity, dark fruit tones, earthy notes, and a hint of spice and herbs at the finish, with tannins and structure throughout. Pair with spice-rubbed beef tenderloin, lamb skewers with rosemary-blackberry glaze, venison, elk, charcuterie boards with hard cheese, cured meats, & berries, and dark chocolate truffles.
The labels were created by TCU partners using a gold anniversary crest, reserved for limited use. The back of the bottle includes the primary 150th mark in addition to details about the wine.
The sauvignon is $69, and the cabernet is $119. They'll be available at the Campus Store in late February, in limited quantities.
TCU creative director Kris Copeland calls it "a really special year," stating, "not only do we get to create materials that celebrate 150 years of our history, but we're also creating the artifacts that future generations of Horned Frogs will look back on."