Rathfinny Wine Estate Raises a Glass to the Great British Summer with Two New Vintage Sussex Sparkling Wine Releases
Coinciding with the highly anticipated UK hospitality reopening, Rathfinny is proud to announce the second release of its house-style vintage 2017 Classic Cuvée and the new limited-production release of their elegant 2017 Blanc de Blancs. This moment showcases the brand’s most affordable, bestselling sparkling, alongside one of its most critically acclaimed premium wines. Harvey Nichols will have an exclusive retail offer on selling the 2017 Classic Cuvée (RRP: £29.00) throughout the month of May whilst Harrods will stock the Blanc de Blancs in store and online (RRP: £42.00).
Rathfinny 2017 Classic Cuvée is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir, 18% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot Meunier, aged for 36-months in the bottle. This sparkling is light ochre in colour with a vibrant nose of red heirloom apples and baby ginger, giving way to a rich mousse of mirabelle plums and orange sherbet with a bright, pomelo finish. Rathfinny Brand Ambassador, Rob Buckhaven, suggested this wine is a stunning accompaniment to the earthy herbaceous notes of tarragon and wild mushrooms or with the gamey flavours of venison carpaccio.
Rathfinny 2017 Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay, also aged for 36-months on its yeast lees, with a luminous, flaxen-gold hue leading to a heady nose of ripe papaya and creamy lemon balm, a refined beading of white peach and fennel pollen with a silken, yuzu zest finish. As food-friendly as previous vintages, this refined sparkling meshes sublimely with the sweet delicacy of butter-braised lobster, with the velvet-texture of a goat’s cheese and fig tartlet or delicious with oysters. The wine will be stocked in Harrods and also served ‘by the glass’ in conjunction with the new Tom Kerridge collaboration, launching in May.
Located on a wonderful south-facing slope in East Sussex, Rathfinny Wine Estate is proud to be producing Sussex Sparkling wine that rivals the world’s finest Traditional Method sparkling wines. Rathfinny’s range of wines are produced under strict Sussex PDO guidelines to ensure Sussex wines continue to be considered among the very best in the world.
This is Rathfinny Wine Estate’s first release in partnership with their new distributor, Liberty Wines. Managing Director, David Gleave said, “We are very excited to be working with Rathfinny on the release of their two new, vintage Sussex Sparkling wines – the first new sparkling wines launched since our distribution partnership began. The timing is especially significant as many people will be looking forward to socialising again this summer.” Of the new partnerships Gleave added, “There is a natural fit between Liberty Wines and Rathfinny, as not only do we share a similar philosophy, but they also complement perfectly our existing English sparkling wine portfolio.”
As a result of the pandemic, Rathfinny established an e-commerce platform to sell direct from their website which has allowed them to reach customers across the UK whilst many of Rathfinny’s trade partners have been closed. As well as the named stockists, customers will be able to purchase the new wines from their online shop from 1st May.
The release of a ‘house-style’ vintage wine, with grapes from a single harvest, like Rathfinny Classic Cuvée 2017, is unusual, given that it is standard practice for signature-style sparkling wines to include a blend from multiple years, as they do in Champagne. Co-Owner Mark Driver said their plan is to release only vintage wines, in contrast to Champagne, where more than 80% of production is non-vintage blends from multiple harvests. Driver added, “We love to celebrate the vintage and 2017 was a cracking vintage. A long growing season produced rich flavours in the wines and with three years bottle ageing, it’s the perfect wine to celebrate the end of lockdown. Role on the roaring twenties and a summer of love.”
As well as a sparkling wine producer, Rathfinny Estate is a popular destination for visitors, food and wine enthusiasts and walkers, offering organised Vineyard tours, wine tastings and a free map of their Trail from the Cellar Door located in the RIBA-nominated Winery. The Flint Barns provides onsite accommodation and gastro-pub-style evening meals. The Tasting Room restaurant, recently retaining their Plate Michelin in this year’s guide, provides more formal dining with spectacular views across the Vineyard and South Downs. The complete wine tourism offers – with the addition of al fresco summer dining – including the tremendously popular Vineyard picnics, will be reopening to the public in stages from 1st May. The new wines will be available to taste and purchase from the Cellar Door.
Sarah Driver, Co-Owner of Rathfinny Wine Estate, said; “The world of wine is as much about providing a fantastic experience as it is it is about producing world-class wines and that’s what we aim to give everyone – an experience that matches the premium quality of our Sussex Sparkling wines, at the Rathfinny Wine Estate. We look forward to being able to open the Estate again to visitors this summer so they can taste our new vintages. It is something to look forward to in these difficult times and will be a real opportunity for people to support local businesses producing local products”.
Rathfinny Sussex Sparkling wines are available via the following retailers:
Classic Cuvée 2017 – Harvey Nichols exclusive for the month of May (£29.00)
Blanc de Blancs 2017 – Harrods (£42.00)