Australian Wine Companion 2017 Edition 


94 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

"It’s a marvellous grenache. It has a bit of beef, a bit of flesh, and yet it promotes dryness, spice and structure ahead of fruit. It’s not thick or massively intense but it’s convincing and indeed powerful, by its own design. Licorice, graphite, flings of dried herbs and bushes, a campfire smokiness. It’s textural, it’s aromatic, it’s a treat. The linger of tannin and flavour here is quite superb. Your best glassware, please."

92 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

"Geez, such perfume from these grapes here, and satiny texture. Just lovely stuff. 

Great volume of fragrance here. Offers Turkish Delight and chocolate scents, sniffs of rose petal, touch of strawberry and vanilla. Pretty. Silken sheets of tannin draped on sweet, berry fruitiness with a light dusting of sweet spice, touch of orange juicy tan to close. Little crunch and pucker to finish. It’s a complete guzzler, but has the charisma to evolve in glass through a meal or similar. Effortless drinking here."


93 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

"Another fantastic release from Bondar. Just the right mix of structure, flavour and interest. This is a savoury, sinewy wine first and foremost though flavours of graphite, woodsmoke, black cherry and fennel mean that there’s plenty else going on. Those strains of spicy tannin though; those fistfuls of smoked twigs and spices; they really set the scene. It twirls and twists through the mouth like it’s mapping out genes. A light-but-exquisite red wine."


92 points, Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front

"It’s light-ish in some ways but it’s ever-so-attractive. Lemon, nectarine and pear flavours float across the tongue, the texture just-so, the acidity neatly contained within the fruit and yet offering plenty of refreshment. It looks bright in the glass and feels bright in the mouth. It’s still building, still findings its way in the world, but for length, balance and mouthfeel it has it going on."


93 points, Mike Bennie, The Wine Front

"This is shiraz from the famed, noted Rayner Vineyard of McLaren Vale. Reputation and expectation, ey? In good hands here. A dynamic set of new release wines from Bondar. 

Mainlining McLaren Vale shiraz. That grunt of sweet earth, choc-mocha on ripe black and red berry scents, dash of cassis, an arm of a saltbush. It’s comforting in its rich, dense perfume. The wine tastes of dark fruit, more salt bush greenery and saline character, a lick of new leather, anise and clove spice. Lush and long and supple, it’s a hedonistic shiraz kept in check by bright acidity and fine oak and fruit tannin. Moreish, generous red of high charisma and evident quality."


95 points, James Halliday, Wine Companion Magazine

"The extreme drive and intensity of the wine is terrific, the fruit flavours of white peach and pink grapefruit dominant. A first-class example of the new style of Chardonnay."

94 points, The Wine Front, Gary Walsh

"Preserved lemon, spice and a whisper of struck match, white peach, slivered almonds (really just wanted to use that word, slivered) and a whiff of brine and cucumber rind. It’s light to medium bodied, silky and fine, has just the right amount of flavour, a wee bit of quartz-y texture, and a cool spicy glossy almond-laced finish. Feels pure and tastes delicious."

93 points, WBM Magazine, Mike Bennie

"Bondar is hitting the ground running and a producer to keep an eye on. This Chardonnay marries linear, racy Chardonnay texture and weight with a good complement of nutty savouriness among the citrus, green apple fruit characters. It's reserved on opening, but becomes more flamboyant with time in glass; a good portent for future cellaring."


95 points, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion 2017

"The bouquet is indeed strikingly fruity, but no confection, the palate is firm, with as much dark as red fruit, the overall balance and extract strikingly good. A grenache that will live and live."

94 points, The Wine Front, Gary Walsh

"Very pretty, fragrant wine this is. Smells of lipstick and roses, ripe raspberry, sausages, baking spices and all manner of interesting things. Medium bodied, fleshy, juicy and saucy, but savoury and structured too, with ultra-fine grained controlling tannin, clean acidity, and a spicy perfumed finish of excellent length. Beautiful wine. Already complex, but with more to come."

93 points, The Wine Front, Mike Bennie

"Super perfumed. Scream pretty grenache. Sweet red berries, Ripe Raspberries, sniffs of Turkish Delight, all that jubey goodness, then faint sprinkle of warm spice and herbs. Silky palate, juicy/jubey fruit, decidedly sweet fruited but a sheet of very fine tannin helps tackle and tighten into a long finish. This feels good."


93 points, James Halliday, Australian Wine Companion

"Watermelon and spice, red cherries and flecks of herbs. A chalky dryness keeps it tidy and tight. Beautifully put together. The right proportion of this, and the right proportion of that."

92 points, The Wine Front, Gary Walsh

"Watermelon, red fruits, fresh clean, light phenolics and chalkiness, strawberries and cream to finish with a little crunch of tannin and freshness. Good. Let’s have you then!"


94 points, WBM Magazine, Mike Bennie

"Bondar are out of the blocks and racing. Great release of a lean and fine expression of Chardonnay here. It smells of wet slate, oyster shell, faint nuttiness then the pure, ripe stone fruit expression chimes in. Slinky yet crisp fringed in texture, the wine remains crisp and tight through its needle thrust line. Get involved."  


94 points, The Wine Front, Gary Walsh

"Preserved lemon, whiff of struck match, white nectarine and a little cedar spice oak. Light to medium bodied, nice and tight with a gentle almond glossiness, all the flint and chalkiness, with that preserved lemon flavour lending a touch of the exotic. Has a cool sort of cucumber rind flavour on the finish. Good delivery of flavour here, with some finesse. Reckon it needs another six months or so in bottle, but give it some air and a big glass, and you’re still in the game." - 28 May 2015, http://www.winefront.com.au/bondar-wines-chardonnay-2014/


4.5 stars, The Advertiser, Tony Love

"Based in McLaren Vale - where its Shiraz won a trophy in last year's regional wine show - Bondar's commitment to fine wine has taken it to Echunga in the Adelaide Hills to source this glorious fruit. It exudes core, juicy, white stone fruits that then become increasingly layered with exotic spice like vanillin, nutmeg and cinnamon, then the flints notes of barrel ferment. Tiny volumes, but look, too, for the 2015 with more of the same. Utterly delicious." - 2 March 2016. 


TROPHY WINNER: Best Shiraz $25-$50 AND Best Single-Vineyard Shiraz at the McLaren Vale Wine Show 2015


94 points, The Wine Front, Gary Walsh 

"They’ve bought the fairly famous Rayner vineyard, but not in time to make this wine. This comes from a vineyard in Blewitt Springs which they think shows a family resemblance to their Rayner, and the name was inspired by a magnificent sunset that occurred while they were picking. I like it, ‘Violet Hour’. It puts me in mind of ‘Golden Hour’, that time some way back in the mists of my youth, when you met your mates of an evening at the pub and the second schooner had kicked in, and perhaps you’d sparked up a durrie and started to laugh and really relax: the shackles of the week gradually being loosened. Golden Hour. Ahhhh.

Violet hour, yes, perhaps, as it’s certainly a little floral, also rolling with sweet liquorice, black fruits, whole bunch spice and earth. Medium to full bodied, ample fruit weight, though not heavy, shaping tannin and well pitched acidity – feels just about spot on – touch of brine/iodine and a pretty long fresh, almost red fruited finish. Beautifully made. Great to drink." - 24 November 2014, http://www.winefront.com.au/bondar-wines-violet-hour-shiraz-2013/#.VMooXFrlfzI

93 points, WBM Magazine, Mike Bennie

"Whole-bunch influence with soupy, juicy, bold-fruit flavours. Touch sweet but not without acid freshness and pucker. Suggestion of nougat and the wine feels complex. Solid debut wine. Stay tuned for production off the famed Rayner Vineyard they now own."