Wild Semillon Success

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Wild Semillon Success

Recently, one of the UK’s leading wine writers, Matthew Jukes, released his highly anticipated 100 Best Australian Wines 2016/17. This is a highly respected guide to the best Australian wine available in the UK for the coming year.

From the Hunter Valley, there are just four wineries mentioned; Tyrrells, Mount Pleasant, Brokenwood….and Gundog Estate! Not only is it amazing to be featured alongside these Hunter Greats, the wine that we have been recognised for represents a modern, unique style which we have worked hard to develop and pioneer since 2011; the Wild Semillon. By fermenting a portion of the wine on skins and using naturally occurring yeast, the Wild Semillon has been an exercise in texture and style which has ultimately taken Hunter Valley Semillon into largely uncharted territory. Over its short lifespan of just five vintages, the Wild Semillon has gone on to become our flagship white wine.

It’s the 2015 release of the Wild Semillon that grabbed Matthew Jukes’ attention, and he wrote an incredible tasting note on the wine, which I have reproduced below:

“A brand new name in this century of greats, Gundog is a wine which shocked me to my core on first tasting and then made me go back for repeated visits to confirm what I had tasted. I still find its flavour arresting and concept frankly baffling but I bloody love it. Firstly, this wine is part-fermented on its skins. It is also ‘wild’, so the yeasts do their thing unencumbered and with abandon.The final detail is that there is still a degree of sweetness left in this wine (10 g/l), which balances out the raucous acidity, but you have to look hard to spot it. The main clue is the lightness of touch – it is only 9.5% alcohol. I must admit to being knocked sideways by this seductress, not least because it is so different to the other, searingly dry Sems in this body of work. The tasting note I came back to again and again was not the obvious lemon notes – leaf, blossom, zest, grass, balm and so on, but the tantalising tisane scent which is so delicate and demure that it captivates the senses and sends you into a semi-trance-like state. It’s all rather marvellous and completely unexpected. Open your mind to this empyrean perfume and be prepared to lose yourself in its wonder.” (www.matthewjukes.com).

On the back of this humbling international recognition, I’d like to extend a warm “thank you” for all of the support we’ve received from customers (here and abroad), local winemakers, media, friends and staff who have made this unique wine such a success. Long live Hunter Semillon in all its forms!


Matt Burton