Gundog Estate Indomitus Albus 2022


A confession. The ‘natural wine for the sake of it’ movement never did much at all for me. Too often, it seemed a good excuse to cover winemaking faults and some simply very ordinary and uninteresting wines. Emperor’s new clothes stuff. What does thrill me are the guys who are pushing boundaries. Whether that is ‘natural’, part thereof or completely unrelated, doesn’t matter. Fascinating to see what they do. Matt Burton at Gundog Estate is one of the guys who is pushing boundaries and doing it superbly. We’ll forgive him the curious names.

This is a blend of Hunter Valley Semillon (dominant) and Canberra Riesling. The components received a variety of different treatments from the team. Some wild fermentation on skins, some cloudy in barrel. Maturation was on skins and lees which enhances both the complexity and texture. A shining yellow in colour, the nose is still quite tight and the palate as taut as a drum. There are notes of citrus and stonefruit and these fill out on the palate. The texture is very much a highlight, gorgeously layered and supple with hints of orange rind emerging on the palate. Excellent length here and juicy acidity running the length. Delicious now, it surely has five more years ahead of it in good cellars, though it will probably go twice as long if you let it.