We are excited to announce that Wildflower Subtle Matter will be available online and for take-away/collection from 12pm (Sydney time) on Wednesday 25 March 2020.
Subtle Matter is a continuation of the work we started with winemaker Brad Hickey (Brash Higgins) of using spent wine grape skins from the production of orange wines (skin-contact, macerated whites) and blending them with barrel aged beer. While Zibeerbo is made by blending barrel matured golden wild ale with Muscat skins post maceration, Subtle Matter is made with Semillon skins in a similar manner. After tasting a macerated Sem heavy white elixir from a certain Barossa producer, I became intrigued (obsessed) with the intensity that this grape lends under extended skin contact ferments.
To make Subtle Matter, we basked pressed Semillon skins after 6 months maceration (in wine) and immediately blended the skins with a selected barrel of Gold (barrel 1758 and 9 months old at the time) followed by for 4 months maceration together. We packaged the beer on 5 December 2019 and have conditioned it in bottle for 15 weeks before release. This is a very short description for a beer that has been over two years in the making.
The beer's aroma is immensely intriguing, developing and becoming more attractive as time goes on. While it starts with honeyed lemon and lemon balm, it quickly moved to aromas reminiscent of pollen, dandelion fields and springtime. The palate is structural and grippy as you would expect from a phenolic orange wine. A fleeting fresh lemon acid up front before a clean finish. If there was ever a beer to pair with oysters... here you have it.
The name, image and inspiration draw from Rene Descartes’ writings on the philosophies of light, sensations and colour... something I studied at university. Descartes’ mechanistic sciences leave no room for voids, in a void there would be no matter to impart forces from one body to another, he was opposed to the idea there could be ‘action at a distance’. I drew the image on the bottle (borrowing from the 1st discourse of the Dioptrics) depicting a basket of fermenting wine grapes at vintage and draws the analogy that the wine filling the gaps between the grapes is similar to this subtle matter that can ‘tend’ in likes from one body to another transferring forces.
Luckily we know now, voids are possible and there certainly can be action at a distance... like ordering things online for home delivery from your local, independent businesses. We have just 247 of these 375ml bottles available now online and for collection at cellar door ($20 a bottle, limit of 4 per person).
Like all our beers, Subtle Matter is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).