Wildflower St Florence 2020: Semillon 375ml

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St Florence is an Australian Wild Ale refermented with white wine grapes. It is named for Topher and his wife's first daughter and the Saint Florence was a 7th century abbess from Cartagena, Spain.

Oh man I could write about this beer for days. Even though 2019 was our first edition of a Semillon St Florence, I feel it has quickly become stalwart, a cornerstone of what we do. Last year, we saw how this fruit and our beer interacted and quite honestly, the result was a crowning highlight. The 2020 edition carries the torch well from last year's inaugural release, a fine marriage of two citrus forward NSW products – our Gold and Tyrrell's Semillon.

We picked the fruit for the 2020 edition once again from Johnno's vineyard (planted 1908) on Tyrrell's estate outside Pokolbin, NSW. I wrote about this last year but I have mountains of respect and admiration for the Tyrrell family and their still family run business. I am both honoured and incredibly grateful to be able to make this beer.

Four of us headed up to the Hunter on the 29th of January and picked 500kg of grapes from this site. Due to the smoke from bushfires this year, Tyrrell's were unable to use any of these grapes for their own wine.⁠ I'm glad that we were still able to pick and use this fruit for this beer, and while it may have been tainted, we do not see any negative outcomes on the palate because of it. Once picked, we drove it back to Sydney and put it into a three week carbonic maceration before racking two barrels of aged Gold onto the semi-fermenting fruit, as is our preferred method. The beer and grapes macerated and refermented together for just under six months. The grapey beer was then gravity moved off the fruit and blended with a couple more barrels of aged Gold before bottling on 29 July 2020 and allowed to condition in bottle for 18 weeks before release.

At release, this year's edition has big aromas of lemon balm, stalky green banana and tropical fruits and pineapple The palate is savoury and structural, waxed lemon and tight tannins bring it to a close. Really happy with the interaction of skins and aged beer here.


Additional Information
New South Wales
Sour/Wild Ale