Located in East Sussex on the edge of the South Downs near Eastbourne, the Rathfinny estate is exactly 4 miles from the sea. The Romans claimed 4 miles to be an ideal distance, from major bodies of water, to cultivate vines to produce the very best wines. It is not a coincidence that Rathfinny makes internationally award-winning wines in England and that a large majority of the 600+ producers in the UK are huddled together on the South Coast. A full 40+ in Sussex alone!
Rathfinny is already light-years ahead of the curve, not only in terms of winemaking techniques but also in terms of establishing Sussex to be synonymous with the word Quality. The founder, Mark Driver, along with other top-quality English wine producers from Sussex (Ridgeview and Bolney) grouped together to draw up a proposal to make Sussex a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). If successful, it would be the second PDO approved for England, after the recently awarded Darnible PDO for Camel Valley in Cornwall. As such, the proposal specifies certain permitted grape varieties, constraints on yields and winemaking practices alongside rigorous testing of the final product for quality. The inaugural release of the 2014 Blanc de Blancs, made exclusively from Chardonnay, showed its undoubted quality and class. The Blanc de Noirs is the second vintage release and we hope will be amongst many other great future releases.
As for the wine itself, this is a classic Blanc de Noirs with lots of generous red berry fruits, hints of brioche and freshly baked biscuits alongside floral notes of hibiscus and violet. All underpinned by a taught and fresh acidity with elegant fine bubbles and a smooth texture. Long in the finish, this fizz is certainly one to savour and enjoy in the company of good friends.
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