Bondar GSM Junto - Organic
Founded in 2013, Bondar is the vision of husband-and-wife team Andre Bondar and Selina Kelly. Their home is the Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale. The estate is comprised of plantings of dry-grown Grenache (up to 50 years old) and dry-grown Shiraz (up to 70 years old), with bush vine Grenache, bush vine Mourvedre, Carignan, Touriga, Counoise, Cinsault, and Sagrantino all more recent additions. Stylistically, Bondar is Andre and Selina’s take on McLaren Vale fruit through the lens of cool climate experiences from the Northern Rhone to the Adelaide Hills
The Junto bottling is 88% Grenache, 6% Shiraz, 3% Mataro, 2% Carignan & 1% Counoise. Junto is Spanish and Portuguese for together. The grapes for Junto are picked early to create a very fresh, bright wine, with red fruits and lovely herbal characters. There’s a life to the palate, a nerve, a tension as well which elevates the intentionally light palate to a more serious place. The blend is put together with the idea that Grenache really is the hero, with Shiraz adding supporting flesh and the Mataro spice and structure/tannin. According to Australian wine critic James Halliday, the Bondar GSM is fast becoming the benchmark of the genre. A great warm-weather red that could even stand a slight chill, this one will be great for grilled sausages or Mediterranean fare.
Grenache from an estate block plus two growers (65-year-old Trott vineyard deep in Blewitt Springs, and McLaren Flat with 80+ year old vines on sand); all estate Shiraz from Rayner Vineyard with 70-year-old vines in sand; Mataro from Willunga on rocky clay soil; Carignan & Counoise are new estate plantings.
Handpicked, the fruit was gently handled in the winery (15% whole bunches) and aged for about eight months in neutral large French oak barrels. Fermented as between 10-25% wholes bunches (with the reminder fermented as whole berries), and raised in old oak, this year's Junto is quite the delicate wine, exhibiting beautiful aromatics and a pure, lingering flavour. It shows a restraint not often associated with red wines of the McLaren Vale; the growers used very little Shiraz and Mataro this time around so as not to dominate the Grenache fruit, with its superb aromatics and soft juicy mouthfeel.
Pale in the glass yet bright red, it has a very pretty nose with red currant, mint and hints of Chinese five spice. The palate is light and snappy, with flavors of sour cherry and raspberry. The tannins are soft and ever so silky, yet the wine is held together by lovely juicy acidity. Overall a fruitful, delicate wine with a balancing savory quality to be drunk in its youth.
96 points James Halliday “Bright, clear crimson; a perfumed, red-fruited, spiced bouquet lights the way, the palate making off with this opening by adding high-quality tannins. Whether or not a shotgun marriage, it comes together in glistening unison.”