Sussex Sparkling Wine For Christmas
It is no secret the English wine industry is going from strength to strength with English Sparkling Wine winning more awards in recent years than any other sparkling winemaking region in the world.
Home to 50 vineyards and 23 wineries, the county of Sussex is leading the way in producing some of the best English wine on the world stage. Indeed, Sussex wines have become so revered that a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) was established as a mark of quality; an initiative led by Rathfinny Co-owner, Mark Driver.
Scarce in quantity, high in quality and made using Traditional Method sparkling wine practices, a bottle of English bubbly from Rathfinny is the perfect addition to the Christmas table this year.
A bottle of Rathfinny sparkling wine makes an impressive gift for a wine-lover looking for something new to discover. The Rathfinny portfolio is headed-up by their signature Blanc de Noirs that has been heralded by critics as the best of its kind in the UK, followed by the elegant Blanc de Blancs. Both wines are restricted to just three bottles per customer due to small production volumes. Rathfinny also produce an expressive Pinot-dominated Rosé and bestselling, ‘house-style’ Classic Cuvée.
All Rathfinny sparkling wines are vintages meaning all the grapes used to make a bottle of wine come from a single year. Rathfinny’s Sussex Sparkling’s are considered ‘Brut’ as very little sugar is added (less than 5g/l!) due to the pristine quality of the natural fruits. Super food-friendly, these wines will go down well with a Christmas meal or savour to raise a glass on New Year’s Eve. A gift box is also available for extra special presentation for gifting.
For celebrations and larger parties, a magnum of sparkling provides an element of theatre. With longer bottle-ageing, magnums develop exciting new flavour profiles that are sure to excite a discerning wine lover and makes an undeniably spectacular gift or treat to enjoy with a group of family and friends. One magnum bottle serves two glasses each to a group of six.
Tasting Notes & Food Pairings
2015 Blanc de Noirs
The Blanc de Noirs (RRP £39.50) is Rathfinny’s signature sparkling, aged for 36 months before release. The 2015 has an enticing blush that sets the scene for perfumed peony and wild strawberry on the nose, while on the palate, its rich mousse of raspberries and toasted almonds gives way to a caramelised red apple finish. When it comes to food pairings, this sparkling boasts enough depth to pair perfectly with wintery main-courses such as roast chicken, venison and duck. It’s also the perfect accompaniment to a cheese and charcuterie board.
2017 Blanc de Blancs
A limited production of just 9,333 bottles, the new release 2017 Blanc de Blancs (RRP £39.50) is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and is ideal for pairing with seafood dishes. A luminous, flaxen-gold hue leads 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. This refined sparkling wine meshes sublimely with the sweet delicacy of butter-braised lobster or with the velvet-texture of a goat’s cheese and fig tartlet.
2017 Classic Cuvée
The ‘house-style Classic Cuvée (RRP £29.50) has a striking gold neck wrap that sparkles with festive celebration and represents ‘Rathfinny in a glass’. This vintage is a blend of 65% Pinot Noir, 18% Chardonnay and 17% Pinot Meunier. Extremely versatile, the Classic Cuvée lends itself to the gamey flavours of venison carpaccio, pheasant and duck rillettes or tastes equally delicious with vegetarian dishes such as macaroni cheese and truffle risotto. “Exceptional sparkling wine.” Will Lyons, The Times
Rosé isn’t just for summer. The 2018 Rosé (RRP £36.00) is the perfect party drink or dessert pairing. Despite popular perceptions that Rosé is a sweet drink, this sparkling Rosé has just 5.3g/l of sugar so it’s all about the fruit and salinity. This vintage is a beautiful accompaniment to the bright flavours of popular festive canapes such as duck and ginger spring rolls and fruit-based desserts like white forest roulade, the perfect show-stopping dessert for the festive season.
Sussex Christmas Case
Share some festive cheer with Rathfinny’s Sussex Christmas Case (RRP: £210) which showcases the Rathfinny portfolio. Perfect for stocking up for Christmas parties, New Year’s, gifts or pairing with delicious home-cooked meals, this case offers the ultimate luxury tipple.
Cradle Valley & Seven Sisters
As well as producing Sussex Sparkling wines, Rathfinny is also the custodians of two sister labels: Cradle Valley still wines and Seven Sisters spirits. Although the separate labels only equate to about 5% of the production, these high quality, low volume drinks make for a unique, artisanal gift.