Rathfinny Wine Estate has released its new ‘Rathfinny Reserved’ offer – an exclusive opportunity to reserve an allocation of two premium Sussex Sparkling wines from the exceptional 2018 vintage. Rathfinny Estate has set aside 500 six bottle cases of both their 2018 Blanc de Noirs and 2018 Blanc de Blancs to be purchased ‘en primeur.’

These premium Rathfinny ‘Reserved’ wines have spent their first year in the bottle and they will spend a further two years ‘on-lees’ in their temperature-controlled cellar, allowing the wonderful ‘autolytic’ flavours to develop. Rathfinny plan to disgorge the wines in early 2022, removing the yeast lees and releasing them for collection or delivery to ‘Rathfinny Reserved’ customers in the summer of that year.

2018 has been widely talked about as the vintage of the century in the UK (Imbibe, 2018). It was an exceptional vintage with a long hot summer giving way to a warm ‘Indian summer’ allowing for perfect ripening of the grapes, which were picked in early October.

“Our Blanc de Noirs is the wine we set out to produce when we started Rathfinny. It’s our signature wine, a wonderful blend of predominantly Pinot Noir with a small quantity of Pinot Meunier,” Mark Driver, Co-Owner of the Rathfinny Estate, stated. “It has a beautiful golden hue, a lovely nose of rich red fruits and on the palate, it is all red apples, raspberries and strawberries.”

Will Lyons (Sunday Times wine columnist) described the Rathfinny 2016 Blanc de Noirs wine as: “Decadent and World Class.” Matthew Jukes (MatthewJukes.com) equally described the flavours of the 2016 Blanc de Noirs as, “decadent and lusty.” He stated in his review that; “I like this style of wine from several other English wineries, too, but no one else makes a bottle of wine like this.”

Rob Buckhaven, Brand Ambassador at Rathfinny Wine Estate talks about the other premium Sussex Sparkling within the Rathfinny Reserved offer. “The Blanc de Blancs is so elegant, with great balance, structure and a lovely richness of fruit, it’s all brioche, lemon and Granny Smith apples.” He was not alone in his praise for Rathfinny’s Blanc de Blancs. Wine writer, Jamie Goode (wineanorak.com) described the 2016 wine as: “One of England’s finest. This is all about precision… This is chiselled and focused, but not austere. “Really impressive… and still so early in the life of the vineyard. 93/100.”  Meanwhile, Tamlyn Currin (JancisRobinson.com) described it as, “Precise and pointed, high cheekbones and leggy and slender but not bony. Long and stretches out to fill every corner of the mouth…This has a wonderful chalk-sculpted core (with a grace note of fine cement dust) that then reaches around lovely depth of fruit.” High praise indeed.

Mark Driver, explained that, “These wines are a superb reflection of Rathfinny’s incredible terroir and 2018 proved to be an exceptional vintage for us. One of the inevitable challenges of operating a premium wine business, in which we only bottle wines from grapes we have grown on our Estate, is satisfying demand. The popularity of our Blanc de Noirs and Blanc de Blancs has meant that we have had to restrict direct sales to our customers.  We have therefore created ‘Rathfinny Reserved’ to enable fans of our wines to reserve cases of our future releases.”

Co-Owner, Sarah Driver added, “If you have a big event coming up in 2022/3, such as a wedding, anniversary or a significant birthday, this is a great way to ensure that you and your guests can celebrate with our premium Sussex Sparkling wines.”

The Rathfinny ‘Reserved’ wines are available on a first-come first-served basis to individuals across the UK and abroad. The minimum purchase is four cases which include six bottles or four magnum cases which contain three bottles each. A mix of both is also available. Excise duty and VAT will be payable by the purchaser upon release with buyers from outside of the UK, subject to their own local duty, tax rates and delivery charges.

Rathfinny Wine Estate was established in 2010 by Mark and Sarah Driver, on the site of a working arable farm, and is now producing Sussex Sparkling wines that rival the best Traditional Method sparkling wines in the world.

Rathfinny’s first Sussex Sparkling wines, launched in 2018, conformed to the strict Sussex PDO guidelines. The recent launch in 2019 of a 2016 Rosé and 2015 Blanc de Blancs featured as the ‘Sparkling Wine of the month’ at the prestigious Ritz Hotel and their premium Sussex Sparkling wines are served at some of the top hotels, bars and restaurants across the UK and abroad.

Mark and Sarah Driver