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2017 Indomitus Albus Semillon

2017 Indomitus Albus Semillon

"It's Hunter Semillon, Jim, but not as we know it. Wild ferment, some skin contact and the addition of a smidge of Gewurzt have resulted in a wine with classic Semillon light grassiness, but extra layers of grape-pulpy texture and richness."
Max Allen

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  • "The Indomitus wines are unique expressions of Semillon and Shiraz. These are wines that marry natural process with carefully placed winemaking artefact; evidence of my hand as a winemaker, attempting to control aspects of the outcome. Hopefully the wines will lead you on a journey of discovery and enjoyment; they are designed to challenge and compel you with every sip.” 
    Matt Burton, Winemaker

    Indomitus Albus is a Hunter Valley Semillon, which somewhat builds on the foundations laid by the Gundog Estate Wild Semillon, first produced in 2011. The Indomitus Albus offers great aromatic intensity and complexity, a rich, textural mouthfeel, a whisper of residual sweetness, and a wonderful line of natural acidity. With a little lick of Gewurztraminer, a cloudy ferment on skins, and another five months spent on lees, it is a wine that is equally about textural and mouthfeel, as it is an expression of the cut-grass and lemon/lime interplay of Hunter Sem.

    It's great to see winemakers in the traditional Hunter playing with the rule book, and this slightly experimental wine (albeit now in its third vintage) has paid off handsomely.


    The 2017 vintage sees our third release of Indomitus Albus. This year, we produced the wine from a generous parcel of Semillon from Dave and Sue Vernon’s dry grown vineyard in Mount View. The hot summer delivered big flavours in this vineyard, so we were keen to make the most of this opportunity in the winery. The production process was straightforward; we fermented cloudy Semillon juice on 30% skins with wild yeast, and let it rest for another five months on lees and skins. 


    The key goal here being to deliver a completely unique spin on a classic varietal, one which is so often vinified in a traditional manner. Seeking to maximise aroma, flavour and texture, we handled the wine with minimal additions, and bottled without fining.


    'It's Hunter Semillon, Jim, but not as we know it. Wild ferment, some skin contact and the addition of a smidge of Gewurztraminer have resulted in a wine with classic Semillon light grassiness, but extra layers of grape-pulpy texture and richness.'
    Max Allen, Gourmet Traveller Wine

    'This is the third release of the Indomitus Albus and was produced from Dave and Sue Vernon’s dry grown vineyard in the Hunter. The wine was fermented using wild yeast with 30% of skins used in the ferment, after which it was left on lees and skins for 5 months. It was bottled without any fining.  This is a wine that over delivers in terms of both aromatics and mouthfeel, with winemaking technique helping to tease out power and concentration in what is still an incredibly young wine. The nose gives citrus fruits that are accentuated by some  grassy and floral notes . The wines texture is very unique, there is a tannin and acid profile that builds with a pinot like peacocks tail and takes meyer lemon, apple and grapefruit along for the ride and is tied together by a finely weaved herbaceous thread.  A wine that makes you think about it, but is very enjoyable.'
    94 Points - Patrick Eckel

    'A clear, pale sunshine yellow colour in the glass. Opens with rich aromas of lemongrass, lemon citrus, a hint of creamy vanilla and a kiss of musk thanks to 2% gewurztraminer. Serious, complex flavour layers of rich, smoky lemon and lemongrass citrus with bell-tone clear acidity that doesn’t dominate as it would other youthful semillons. A well made exercise in structure.'
    18/20 Vinonotebook

    'The “indomitus” wines are where Gundog Estate takes a region/variety champions and goes for quality gold. Ripe by young Hunter Valley semillon standards. By ripe I mean ripe flavours, not the stated alcohol. It presents a body of flavour, including some candied aspects, lemongrass, creme brûlée, citrus and slate notes all sharing a turn at the microphone. The finish has some grip, which I took as a positive. It will age no doubt but I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t hook in no-ish.'
    92 Points - Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

    'Fermented with cloudy juice on 30% skins followed by another 5 months on lees and skins. A unique approach. Quite deep in colour, it's unmistakably regional and varietal, although the skinsy, aromas take it to unusual territory. Showing more texture and 'fatness' than would be considered typical of the style.'

    91 Points - Steven Creber

    'The colour is an unusual, lightly brassy straw hue and the cured hay and honey, apricot aroma which suggests botrytis. There is oak involved here. The palate is dry, savoury and soft, with smooth texture and a nice touch of richness. There is a phenolic dryness to the after-palate and finish. An unusual style, possibly skins-fermented, but it works. It would be even better with food.'

    90 Points - Huon Hooke