Bondar's flagship release hails from a 0.7 hectare block of old vines in the Rayner vineyard planted in 1970. This parcel has sandy soils, over yellow clay, a soil type that brings finesse while the low yields bring intensity.
"I really want the Rayner Grenache to be a brighter, prettier expression of the variety,"
says Andre Bondar.
To achieve this the fruit is picked at just the right point, not too late, in order to capture the vivid red fruit notes and bright acidity that Bondar is after. As 2018 was a more generous year, Bondar ended up using more whole-bunches than usual (around 20%) and a larger amount of wine was aged in old oak hogsheads than previous years (around two thirds) with the balance in stainless and ceramic vessels. The result is a wine of elegant freshness--McLaren Vale Grenache in its purest, more delicious guise.
Sourced from the tiny 0.7ha block of 48-year old Grenache vines, planted in sand on our Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale. The lowest-yielding vines were hand-picked, and natural fermentation took place - some in a ceramic egg on skins for 120 days, some with whole bunches and some with whole berries. All done to add layers of complexity to the wine, and to build structure around the beautifully aromatic and pure Grenache fruit. 210 dozen bottles made.
Florals, violets, red fruits and five spice, with warming, effortless afterglow of gossamer threaded tannins and spice.
Bondar are a little family wine company making wines from their favourite regions McLaren vale and Adelaide Hills. The home of Bondar Wines is the iconic Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale. They want to make wines that are lighter, brighter, more savoury, structured and intriguing. Different. Over the last few years since Bondar started this endeavour they have been honoured to be named James Halliday's Best New Winery in his 2017 Australian Wine Companion, to have won multiple trophies at the McLaren Vale Wine Shows they have entered, and to have been named one of the Top 50 Young Guns of Wine in 2018.
JAMES HALLIDAY - THE AUSTRALIAN
Bondar's aim is to produce bright, pretty grenache, largely by earlier picking - which was easy in the cool '17 vintage, but more difficult in '18. A raspberry, cherry-accented bouquet, the palate following suit. Its overall freshness is exceptional.'
GARY WALSH - THE WINE FRONT
Sandy soils on the Rayner Vineyard, located at the southern end of Blewitt Springs. Planted in 1970, which was a very great year for so many things. Spicy, bright, raspberry, potpourri and Turkish Delight. Medium-bodied, very fresh and spritely, crisp and sweet raspberry and cranberry, clean acidity and a light rasp of tannin, garden herbs and a juicy finish of excellent length. Brightness and energy here, and while it’s perhaps a bit too perky now, is sure to settle and improve with some bottle age.
MIKE BENNIE - THE WINE FRONT
Sappy, flirty, cherry-jammy grenache with some good finesse and a svelte, silky feel. Pretty in perfume, succulent and satiny in texture, the wine offers good, sweet fruit flavour and bright and refreshing acidity. It’s a cool, restrained feel to this grenache. Elegant vibe. It’s good stuff here. Real good.