I got soaked playing football last night, properly soaked, wringing water from my jersey, squelchy boots, the whole thing. So I have officially given up on summer, but I haven't given up on Rosé just yet.
Rosé comes in many different guises - we can draw a veil over the style that probably sell the most - sweetish pink wines that might even have the word "blush" on the label. I'm blushing just thinking about it.
The we have the Southern French Rosés in various guises which probably hit their peak in Provence - usually dry, pale in colour, quite delicious and easy to drink. That said, they are sometimes too delicate when they meet the food that results from your average Irish BBQ - burgers, sausages, chicken wings - not the most elegant food at the best of times, but when grilled to various levels of incineration as is usually the case, you really need a wine (or beer) that will stand up and be counted.
Spanish Rosados are usually made from Garnacha (Grenache) and are usually higher in colour, higher in alcohol and more robust.
Arzuaga, sandwiched as they are in between Pingus and Vega Sicilia are rightly renowned as being one of the leading producers of Ribera del Duero, and their wines are full on- fruit and oak are usually equally matched but nevertheless are quite extrovert in their style. On a visit earlier in the year, I was curious to try their Rosado, made from Tempranillo, not Grenache.
This is a full-on Rosé, light in colour, but medium bodied and with loads of lovely summer fruits, concentrated enough to take on pretty much any food you care to throw its way. The elegant bottle, printed to avoid the label coming off in the ice bucket, might make you think this is a gentle, feminine wine, but don't be fooled, this is a Rosé with cojones!
(It's also an excellent hangover cure, as I discovered after a night of over-indulgence in Arzuaga's amazing hotel the previous night!)