"A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose," Gertrude Stein famously said. But clearly she was omitting the acute accent on the e. For all rosé is not the same – not when it comes to the International Wine Challenge, at any rate. And we are not just talking about knowing your Tavel from your Mateus here. Those wine buffs will tell you that the best rosé comes not from Anjou or Provence, but from Dorking.
A rosé by any other name would not taste as a smooth long or creamy in its finish as the wine made from the Rondo grapes, first planted on the Surrey hillsides in 2005, which have just produced Denbies Chalk Ridge Rosé 2010.
This wine has beaten 360 other rosés to the Gold Medal prize in the world's top wine competition. Meanwhile the gold for the best sparkling rosé went to a vintage fizz from a vineyard near Tenterden in Kent called Chapel Down. That wine was served at the recent Royal Wedding, although Palace protocol apparently prevents the wine-makers from publicising the fact.
So while American vinifiers call their pink wines "blush", English propriety, it seems, requires even greater modesty. Or perhaps it's because only 7,000 bottles have been produced and the royals wanted to keep it all for themselves. Anyway, the secret is out now, for those with £11.99 to spare for a bottle.