February 2021 Musings from the Wine Press
2018 RLV Toro
Welcome 2021 and goodbye 2020! For our first release of 2021, Rancho Loma Vineyards is highlighting the 2018 RLV Toro. This marks our 2nd vintage of RLV Toro which contrasts with the 2017 version, highlighting the versatility of this grape varietal and its expression.
In 2012, Roberta and I had the good fortune of traveling to Spain. After leaving Madrid and heading northwest from Segovia we found ourselves in Ribera del Duero country. As we drove along the roadways, we noticed copious hillside signs featuring the bull (which at Roberta’s suggestion) adorns the Toro label. Spain is the motherland of Tempranillo with 2 distinct growing regions, Rioja and Ribera del Duero. Rioja may be the more widely known of the two, with long-aged wines in American oak and more classically red fruit characteristics (raspberry and strawberry).
Ribera del Duero is known to produce Tempranillo of more color, tannin, and black fruit character than Rioja due to the climate, soil, and winemaking. Ribera del Duero is on an elevated plateau of 3500 ft, with cold winters and hot summers, leading to early ripening. In fact, the origin of the word Tempranillo is thought to mean “early little one”. One can easily compare this region to the Llano Estacado in the Texas High Plains which also is on a 3500 ft plateau with limestone soil. The climate characteristics of the Ribera del Duero are similar to Texas High Plains Tempranillo where these grapes ripen typically in early August.
At RLV, our winemaking style embraces Tempranillo due to its potential to make elegant, refined wines and generous red to black fruit character. Tempranillo takes oak well and therefore depending on the barrel type, size, etc. and varietal characteristics at harvest can produce medium-plus to full body wines with fine complexity and structure.
The 2018 RLV Toro is a varietal Tempranillo with Merlot added which is not unusual for the Ribera del Duero. The appearance is ruby to dark ruby with an earthy nose. The new Toro is more structured than its 2017 counterpart with less exuberant, but none-the-less, pleasing dark red to black fruit. The tannins are powdery with a finish of good length. This wine should age nicely over the next several years and continue to evolve if you remain patient. Then again, you may want to enjoy your 2018 Toro now and age an additional Toro for the future.
Aging: 18 months in new French oak (30%) and neutral barrel
Taste: dark cherry, plum, cassis, tobacco and leather
Pairings: grilled meats and chop, especially lamb, pork, but also beef
Tasting Notes by Sean Gravalos, WSET III, RLV Head Sommelier
Red Wine Offerings for February 2021
2018 RLV Toro – Described in detail above
2017 RLV The Tempter – The Tempter is a dry full-bodied Texas Bordeaux style blend of Tempranillo, Merlot and Tannat.
Look for blackberry, black cherry, black current, plum, leather, tobacco, earthy notes and a hint of vanilla on the nose and palate.
Pairings: BBQ Grilled Meats, Smokey Dishes, Rib-eye Steak
2018 RLV Rojo – This is our widely popular multi-varietal red blend consisting of Montepulciano, Barbera, Mourvèdre, Tempranillo and Tannat grapes. Aging was 20% in new French oak and the remainder in neutral barrel. Fresh rewarding fruit notes of candied strawberry, cherry, and red raspberry dominate with lighter body, soft tannin structure and finish.
Pairings: BBQ Grilled Meats, Pizza, Italian food
White Wine Offerings for February 2021
2017 RLV Nocturnal Albariño – A floral dry wine with high acidity with fresh citrus, apple, pear, honeydew, on the nose and palate.
Awards: Double gold winner at 2018/2019 Texas International Wine Competition. Gold medal at the 2019 San Francisco Wine Competition. Silver medal at the 2018 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Bronze medal at the 2019 TEXSOM International Wine Competition.
Pairings: Seafood Risotto, Grilled or Fried Fish Tacos, Oysters, Mussels and Clams.
2017 RLV Imprint – A dry Orange Muscat with refreshing acidity. Aromas of orange blossom, mandarin orange, honeysuckle, Meyer lemon and some stone fruits on the finish.
Awards: Silver Medal at the 2020 San Francisco Chronicle wine Competition. Gold Medal at the 2018/2019 Texas International Wine Competition.
Pairings: Light Summer Salads, Sushi, Shellfish, Chicken, and Fresh Fruit.
2017 RLV Equus – This wine is a blend of Cinsault 98% and Syrah 2% and evokes red berry, roses, quince, with tropical notes and pleasing acidity. It is well enjoyed alone or pre-dinner but pairs well with shellfish, bistro fare, and light hor d’oeuvers.
Pairings: A great pre-dinner wine
Wine Club Recipe by Caitlyn “CJ” Hatchett, RLV Operations Manager
I look forward to serving this at our upcoming Pick Up Party for our wonderful wine club members along with a glass of 2018 RLV Toro! — CJ
Valentines Day Wine Dinners at RLV
February 11, 2021 Vestal’s Organic Foods as Guest Chef in Fort Worth. 4 Course Meal with Wine Pairings
February 13, 2021 Cordell’s with Guest Chef Jason Beard in Coleman. 4 Course Meal with Wine Pairings
To make reservations go to: www.rlv.wine Limited seating so book today.
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As always, Cheers! Looking forward to seeing you soon to share a glass or two of wine either in Coleman or Fort Worth.