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English rosés lead the way in 2010 English & Welsh Wine Competition

For the first time in over five years, more Gold medals were won by still wines than by sparkling wines in last week’s 2010 English & Welsh Wine Competition

Rosés did particularly well, as did Bacchus single varietals.

‘There was some vintage effect,’ said Sian Liwicki, general secretary of the organisers, the UK Vineyard Association. ‘But also people are beginning to realise how to make a good rosé in our climatic conditions.’

‘We would have been proud of the rosé range if we were in Provence,’ said chair of judges, Susan McCraith MW.

The rosé trophy went to Camel Valley in Cornwall for the wine it produces for Fortnum & Mason.

A mix of Pinot Noir and Dornfelder, there’s no skin contact, winemaker Sam Lindo told decanter.com. ‘It’s just crush and press. That’s the secret, no phenolics.’

With the three top-scoring wines in the competition, Lindo also picked up the Winemaker of the Year trophy for the second time in four years.

Chapel Down in Kent won the most Golds, winning the Best 2009 Wine trophy for its Bacchus, two other Golds, also for Bacchus, and a couple for its sparkling wines.

Patricia Stefanowicz MW, judging, said one of the biggest improvers among grape varieties was Bacchus.

‘It’s one of the varieties that has benefited extensively from improvements in winemaking and viticulture. It is like a gentler, more restrained version of Sauvignon Blanc.’

Best Wine of the Show went to Decanter World Wine Awards regional trophy winner, Mike Roberts at RidgeView in West Sussex for his Grosvenor Blanc de Blancs 2001 in magnum.

‘There was really good autolysis,’ said McCraith, ‘with a lovely balance and acidity, and good intensity.’

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Written by Susanna Forbes

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