We are excited to announce that Wildflower Distinctly Perceived will be available online and for take-away/collection from 12pm (Sydney time) on Wednesday 15 April 2020.
Distinctly Perceived is a blend of two ferments of our Gold aged individually on Chardonnay pomace from Canobolas-Smith Winery in Orange, NSW and Viognier pomace from Ravensworth Wines in Murrumbateman, NSW. We normally work with whole fruit for our beers made with wine grapes... ie for all the St beers. For this beer, however, I wanted to use a by-product of the winemaking process and get a little more length from the fruit. This is similar to the ideas that surround Subtle Matter and Zibeerbo, however these skins were never in contact with fermenting wine, instead direct press fruit.
We collected the Chardonnay skins from Murray Smith in early March 2019 alongside the whole bunches which were used to make Touched by the Side of the Sun. The grapes were picked in the morning and pressed with the juice going straight to barrel for the fermentation of the 2019 Chardonnay we have on tap at our cellar door. We removed the skins from the press and placed them into a sanitised stainless steel vessel and covered them in carbon dioxide before sealing the container and bringing them back to Sydney where we racked a small amount of young Gold onto the skins for a 6 month maceration and fermentation.
The Viogner skins were pressed at a similar time in Murrumbateman and similarly placed directly from the press into a sanitised, carbon dioxide flushed vessel before being sealed and transported to Sydney. As with the Chard skins, we racked young beer onto the skins for a long sleep.
At the time of bottling, we decided to blend the two white grapes together and packaged Distinctly Perceived in early September 2019. The yield from these macerations was far under our expectation and as a result, this is a very small bottling.
At release, Distinctly Perceived opens with aromas of ripe tropical fruit, desert spice and Mesquite pod earthiness. The palate bursts with bright fruit and pear skin/perry flavours backed up by a pleasant skinsy phenolic grip. This beer had a high amount of sediment at bottling and its appearance as a result is quite hazy. We recommend allowing the bottle to settle before opening.
As with both Subtle Matter and Touched by the Side of the Sun, the name of this beer draws from René Descartes’ philosophies on optics and colour. There is a critical link between thoughts and sensations. We only know what we do of the outside world through our own sensations, which only materialise in our mind as thoughts. How one sees colour, the mechanics that is, is different than the perception of colour. As sensations are easily skewed and not shared by the whole community (eg many people see colours differently), things like colour in essence exist in ourselves, not in the outside world. Thus, colour and other sensations such as pleasure and pain were only ‘distinctly perceived’ when thought of as a sensation or perception of the mind. By allowing the audience to sit back and observe what they thought what colour was outside of the mind, Descartes provided them with the enlightenment that this task was not only difficult but impossible. Thus if colour was not a thing external of the mind then it must not be an external thing at all, hence colour was shown not to be an inherent property of one’s surroundings.
I did some more watercolouring for the artwork for this label which depicts, to my eye, two slightly different shades of yellow to signify each of the two wine grapes. We trust that each of us understands our perception of this beer are our own.
We have 140 bottles available online and for collection at the cellar door ($30 a bottle, limit of 3 per person).
Like all our beers, Distinctly Perceived is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).