St. Florence was released to celebrate the birth of the brewer’s first daughter of the same name.
Wild Ale On Wine Grapes
Boehm had always intended to release a beer to celebrate his daughter’s birth so he put down an ale to referment on Sauvignon Blanc grapes in a puncheon. The grapes were sourced from Orange, New South Wales.
After refermenting on the grapes for a number of weeks, the beer was moved to a barrel to mature over a period of months. The fermentation was instigated by both active yeast in the beer and yeast on the skins of the grapes.
This beer, from a barrel labelled “Cuvée”, was then blended with a one year old beer and some four month old Gold to bring the blend to life.
St. Florence is the first beer that Wildflower released in a keg, as it was poured among an equally stellar line up at Bitter Phew for Cantillon’s Zwanze Day in September 2017.
Mellow & Creamy
The beer itself takes on a colour somewhat resembling Wildflower’s Gold blends with just a tiny hint of mellow and cloudy rose-gold from the grape contact. It holds an active cap of white foam but activity in the glass remains relatively sedate, lending a quaffability to the beer.
One of the joys of the Zwanze Day release was the availability of such a special beer in schooner-sized glasses. It was a meeting of high-brow and low-brow beer culture, something which seems especially fitting for a Wildflower beer on Zwanze Day.
On the palate it showcases a significant pediococcus buttery character which rolls seamlessly into a creamy experience in the mouthfeel and on the mid-palate. There are light funky notes on the nose and in the initial sips, as flavours reminiscent of dried grass, yellow straw, and dried green herbs play happily together.
Earthy & Balanced
There’s a comforting woodiness to the mid-palate but the oak character is soft and doesn’t dominate. The herbal and grassy qualities combine with the earthiness of the wood to present a savoury element throughout the experience of drinking St. Florence.
Funkiness is limited and restrained. It’s cut off by a grapey sweetness before it can develop. That vinous character blending with oak culminates in an impression of very moderate mouth-drying tannins on the finish.
The addition of some fresher Gold beer into this blend lifts the overall palate and accentuates the high notes which are brought to the fore by the sparkling head.
The yeast character, evidence of grapes, wood-maturation and the effervescence of the liquid integrate to create a very balanced and finely tuned beer.
Wildflower’s St. Florence 2017 was initially available in very limited quantities at the cellar door and online. It’ll likely be a good beer to revisit in a few years.
From: Marrickville, NSW
Beer style: Australian Wild Ale
Pair with: Good company
Have you tried St. Florence from Wildflower? Leave a comment about your experience of this special release.