Region: McLaren Vale, SA
First Glance: Mid-weight, perfectly ripe blackberry, liquorice, well-judged spice
Acclaim: 94 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.
The Violet hour has long been a staff favourite here at Best Cellars, and is usually prescribed as the perfect mid-weight drop with stunning clarity of fruit and complexity within it's price point!
Fruit from Shiraz vines up to 70 years old, planted on the Rayner Vineyard on the southern edge of Blewitt Springs in McLaren Vale. This wine pays homage to the Bondar style with fragrance and a lightness of touch. A bit of whole bunches and extended time on skins are used, which helps to create a lightness, and adds dimensions of flavour and a silky mouth feel. Fermented with indigenous yeasts and minimal additions, aged in older French oak.
94 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front
I like that these Bondar reds only use older oak.
Dried flower and herb perfume, blackberry and boysenberry, an iodine/oyster shell thing happening, plus brown spices. It’s medium to full-bodied, dark fruit and savoury flavours, spice and beef jerky, with dense silty tannin, and a gently toasty finish of fine length. Good stuff. Beautifully made.