• "Indomitus" — untameable, wild, unconquerable. (Latin translation)
Winemaker Matt Burton

“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

Inspiration

The Indomitus wines have been produced to challenge the winemaking and sensory norms of Semillon and Shiraz, and to lead drinkers on an exploration of style and possibility.

The label imagery for these wines is based on photographs taken of the 12th century Ta Prohm temple located within Cambodia’s sprawling Angkor Wat. Unlike other temples here, Ta Prohm has been left largely undisturbed since discovery. Untouched, the Ta Prohm ruins demonstrate the rule of nature over man-made monuments, once protective hands are withdrawn.

The Indomitus wines represent a departure in both style, and production technique, for Gundog Estate. 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. Similarly, Indomitus Rutilus represents a departure in style from our Estate Shiraz, but no doubt shares common underpinnings, principally the terroir of the Dahlberg Vineyard in Murrumbateman, Canberra. It offers an exotically spiced nose, savoury palate, and minimal oak influence.

Drawing symbolic comparison with the label art, we left key elements of the production process to the mercy of natural forces. The wines are fermented with indigenous yeast, and minimally fined and stabilised (they may throw a harmless deposit over time). The Shiraz is also only given minimum filtration prior to bottling. Both wines boast a disarming, seductive approachability, which no doubt plays tribute to the positive influence of the natural processes at play during the winemaking, and to the quality of the source vineyards. It is our hope that this openness of style, combined with the discovery of winemaking artefacts carefully placed in the wines, leads drinkers to be both compelled and challenged at the same time.

Albus

Albus
  • Alc: 11.5%
  • pH: 3.32
  • TA: 6.4 g/L
  • Residual Sugar: 5 g/L

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 Magazine

"Includes 2% gewurztraminer, cloudy juice wild-fermented on 25% skins, held on skins and lees for 6 months, bottled without fining, 100 dozen made. Natural wine addicts, get back in your hutch. This isn't yellow or orange, it is pale straw-green, it has no phenolics, and is as fresh as a daisy. There’s a hint of spice on the bouquet, which may or may not be due to the gewurztraminer; other than this, it’s lemon/lemongrass/citrussy acidity all the way to the bank." — 95 Points, James Halliday

Albus

Rosa

Rosa
Rosa

The Rosa is a rosé-style wine, based on 2017 Murrumbateman Cabernet Sauvignon and Riesling. We pressed each parcel after a moderate time on skins, and barrel fermented (to dryness) cloudy juice, using wild yeast. I’ve got to say, I think this is quite possibly the “sexiest” wine I’ve ever made! Throughout the fermentations and beyond, the barrels offered amazing aromatics, and in the few months leading up to bottling, an enchanting slinkiness developed in both texture and flavour. At times, I actually struggled to believe that such an unlikely combination of varieties could yield a wine so endearing! There is so much juiciness on the palate which serves as a lovely natural counterpoint to the savouriness and texture afforded by the period on skins and fermentation / maturation on solids. The wine was bottled after four months on lees, without fining.

  • Alc: 12.4%
  • pH: 3.15
  • TA: 7.3 g/L

Rutilus

Rutilus
  • Alc: 14.5%
  • pH: 3.54
  • TA: 6.9 g/L

The 2015 Indomitus Rutilus is a Shiraz produced from the highly acclaimed Dahlberg vineyard in Murrumbateman. Relative to our other incarnations of Shiraz, the Rutilus sees minimal intervention in the way of conventional processing aides, with no new oak or finings used prior to bottling. The quality of the 2015 Canberra vintage is simply stunning, and it’s hard to imagine more favourable conditions leading up to harvest. The rich generosity of flavour is linked to impeccable poise, and tension on the palate, (hopefully) promising longevity. Whole bunch (30%), wild yeast fermentation, including 4% Viognier, with 12 months’ maturation in seasoned French oak, followed by another 12 months in bottle, were the tools we used here.

"The colour is vivid and bright, the bouquet perfumed and spicy, the palate elegant and supple, but with a stamp of authority that will underwrite a long future, however attractive the wine is now" — 96 Points, James Halliday

"This is a stunning wine. It has quality dripping from every pore. It's fragrant, spicy, fruity and savoury at once, with firm ropes of tannin and smoky, clovey, meaty nuances aplenty. It will age beautifully." — 96 Points, Campbell Mattinson

Rutilus

"The Indomitus wines are made to enjoy now or to cellar. Like the jungle reclaiming the Ta Prohm temple, the natural processes underpinning wine maturation will always prevail, and continue to shape the wines indefinitely."

We recommend decanting the Indomitus wines prior to serving. Each will benefit from gentle aeration. With the Rosa and Albus, we recommend serving just chilled (ideally above 12 degrees Celsius), and try to avoid storing these wines in the fridge. Being minimal intervention products, they will throw some harmless potassium bitartrate crystals if they get too cold.

2017 ALBUS
  $40.00/per bottle
  $240.00/per six
2017 ROSA
  $40.00/per bottle
  $240.00/per six
2015 RUTILUS
  $50.00/per bottle
  $300.00/per six




The Photographer

Photographer Aaron Burton

Aaron Burton, brother of the winemaker, is an adventurous photographer and filmmaker. His passion for recording hidden and unusual stories has taken him around the globe. Like the early explorers, Aaron's visual narratives break with convention in order to navigate new ways of seeing. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. These images emerged from an archaeological assignment to ascertain extensive visual documentation of the incredible Angkor ruins of Cambodia.