Indian summer. Why do they call it Indian summer? Summers in India are hot as hell, not to mention wet, it being monsoon season and all. I did a bit of research (ok, looked on Wikipedia) and among the various meanings, this one seemed just as good as any of the others: …the term originated from raids on European colonies by Indian war parties; these raids usually ended in autumn, hence the extension to summer-like weather in the fall as an Indian summer…. That seems to be just as believable as any of the other definitions.
So Indian summer not only means it’s still nice and sunny but that means that it’s still rosé weather! It’s no longer hot (not that it ever really got hot this summer) nor have the icy fingers of winter crept down my collar so what better wine to drink then a fresh and fruit driven yet dry rosé. I like rosés because they are so versatile as I’ve said many times and the rosés of Rioja tick all the boxes for a truly delightful drinking experience.
Rioja is a big producer of rosés and they are made up primarily of grenache and tempranillo, both varietals which produce dark red wines so it’s no surprise that Riojan rosés are usually quite dark in colour. I had 4 sent to me to try and they all had the roughly the same characteristics. Dry yet with a fabulous red fruit character, they are perfect food wines, matching with everything from tapas to BBQ.
The Campo Viejo Tempranillo rosé is made from 100% tempranillo and is a fresh and funky rosé with plenty of bright red fruits on the nose and palate but no residual sugar. It’s closed with a screwcap so it’s a handle bottle to take along to the park and perfect with snacks.
Marques de Vitoria rosé is another 100% tempranill and is a dry and fresh wine, light body but plenty of strawberry and red currant rolling around my palate, it’s great with some simple tapas like tortilla or patatas bravas.
Marque de Caceres rosé is a blend and works really well with a paella or seafood dish. It has a bit more body to it and is bursting with red berry fruits. A dependable standby, you can’t go wrong with Marques de Caceres.
My favourite was probably the El Coto Rosado, it’s 50% tempranillo/50% grenache, quite full bodied with loads of raspberries and excellent structure as well as a racing acidity make it perfect with BBQ. I love BBQ so this one is right up my ally.
Don’t give up the summer ghost just yet. Stave it off a a bit longer with the rosés of Rioja. Just imagine you’re sitting on a Spanish beachside sipping your rosé as the sun sets…..
Many thanks to the Wines of Rioja who sent me their rosés to try.
All wines are available in the major supermarkets and very reasonably priced:
- Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rosé 2009 (£6.49, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons)
- El Coto Rosado 2008 (£6.99, EH Booth & CO, Irvine Robertson Wines, Wine of Ascot, Bablake Wines, Dayla, Hills Prospect)
- Marqués de Cáceres Rosé 2009 (£7.99, Majestic, Oddbins)
- Marqués de Vitoria 2009 (£6.99, Partridges, Sussex Victuallers, Czerwiks Food & Wine, Burgundy Wines)