Juice 2016 Rathfinny Wine Estate, Blanc de Noirs, West Sussex, ENG
Grape 93% Pinot Noir 7% Pinot Meunier
Tasting Note An expressive nose with lifted aromas of Morello cherry, toasted hazelnut and baked apple. The palate expertly combines delicacy and weight, with rich texture and autolytic complexity complemented by a fine vein of acidity which lifts the finish.
This family-owned estate was established in 2010 by Mark and Sarah Driver, with the first vineyards being planted in April 2012. Rathfinny’s estate vineyard now extends to over 93 hectares in the South Downs, just three miles from the Channel. Lying on a south-facing slope, their estate vineyard is predominantly planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Meunier as well as small plantings of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris. The site benefits from a semi-continental maritime climate and free- draining chalk soils, providing the ideal conditions to ripen grapes.
Not only are the Driver family absolutely lovely people, they are producing some absolutely stunning wines. Rathfinny uses only estate-grown fruit for their four traditional-method sparkling wines which allows them to have greater control over the quality of the fruit. No expense has been spared on their state of the art wine making facility and storage and the estate shares the same fabled chalky soils found in Champagne. All this adds up to the perfect environment to produce exceptional sparkling and as we’ve mentioned above we believe they are already achieving this goal.
Blanc de Noirs is, in our opinion, the greatest category of sparkling to pair food with. The richness and texture of the red varieties combined with their inherent toasty, slightly spiced red fruit character make them ideal for a plethora of ingredients and dishes. On our initial tasting of the above wine it was paired with duck rillettes and it was an inspired choice. One might pair other Duck dishes such as breast with duck and cherry jus or even the classic French dish of Duck a l’Orange. Even Lamb Cutlets with roasted beetroot and spuds would be a wonderful foil or if you want to keep it simple just settle for a mixed charcuterie platter.