Wildflower St Walter 2022: Montepulciano will be available online and for tasting and take-away/collection at our cellar door from 12pm (Sydney time) on Friday 4 November.
The first of three ales made with hand harvested whole bunch red wine grapes from this past harvest. Named for my eldest son Walter who just celebrated his third birthday, this first variant is a ridiculously bright and fruit dense aged ale refermented with carbonically macerated Montepulciano grapes grown in the Hilltops region of NSW, sourced through our friend Bryan Martin of Ravensworth Wines @bjmart8.
Brewed as always with entirely NSW-grown regenerative certified organic grains, fermented with our house mixed culture wholly derived of a diversity of yeasts and bacteria collected from native flowers in NSW and aged in ex-wine French oak barrels for 8-15 months before being married with 476kg of freshly harvested grapes. After a 4.5 month maceration and refermentation on whole bunches, stems and all, we bottled this ale and have allowed it to naturally carbonate and mature there for 3 months before release.
At release ripe fruit flavours dominate the nose, cherry, plum and blackcurrants in spades. Savoury oak and stalk spice lift the nose. Confectionery elements of raspberry and grape gum create layers of interest. Bold and robust. Strong vinous palate. Structured and powerful. Plum, sweet cherry and inky bramble-y purple fruits to the fore. Raspberry liquorice and herbal spice temper the tannin grip. Mild herbal digestive elements, spice and a soft acidity to close.
The base beer is brewed entirely with certified organic cereals from Chris and Sam Greenwood's farm in Coleambally NSW. Organic raw red wheat with organic schooner barley malted to a pale roast by Voyager Craft Malt. It is made with filtered Sydney water and Motueka (NZ) and Saaz (CZ) hops. Finally, it was fermented with our house culture of microflora wholly foraged from native flowers in NSW. It was bottled on 12 August 2022 and naturally conditioned through refermentation for 12 weeks. At bottling it was 6.3% ABV and 1°P (FG = 1.004 SG).
It's quite a small bottling this one and we only expect to have about 100 bottles available each online and at cellar door. It will be on-tap from Friday for tasting by the glass and a small number of our stockists will also have some bottles in the coming weeks.
And like all our beers, St Walter 2022: Montepulciano is best enjoyed when decanted off a settled natural yeast sediment at cellar temperatures (10-12°C).