Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Grapes: Grenache 73%, Shiraz 13%, Mataro 12%, Carignan 2%
First Glance: Medium-bodied, crunchy red berries, herbs, spice
Acclaim: 92 points
A young Andre Bondar caught the wine-bug back in 2001 and between then and starting Bondar wines with his wife Selina in 2012/13, he amassed an impressive bag of vinous experience. Years of working at wineries both domestically, in the US and in France, including a transformational stint at Rhone producer Alain Graillot, led the couple to start their own project, making wines after their own ideals.Blewitt Springs area in McLaren Vale, as well as with purchased fruit from trusted growers in the Adelaide Hills. The vinous DNA of Bondar is one of medium-weight and supremely detailed wines that are non-dogmatic at their core, yet still manage to feel like classic expressions of their respective sites.
JUNTO (Spanish, Portuguese): ‘Together’, AKA The Bondar GSM+, if you will.
A Southern Rhone style blend with drinkability writ large, but also plenty of layers and interest from the complex varietal make-up. The Grenache leads the blend with its pretty red fruits and perfume, and the more interesting varieties bring complexity, with spice and structure from the Mataro and herbal notes from the Carignan. The fruit is all picked by hand, is handled gently in the winery, and is fermented and aged in old oak.
92 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
Spicy, dried herb and black olive, raspberry, pomegranate. Medium-bodied, distinctly sappy and herbal, a tamarind tang through strawberry and raspberry, dry crunch of amaro and dusty tannin, juicy and frisky, with a punchy finish. Quite different in style to many a GSM, but in a good way.