Bondar is certainly a name worth becoming familiar with. CAMPBELL MATTINSON, The Wine Front

A dynamic set of new release wines from Bondar. MIKE BENNIE, The Wine Front

I’m often asked about what’s new and good in Australian wine. These days the answers come more easily than they once did. There’s undoubtedly a movement of (usually) younger producers putting a new narrative around traditional producing areas and redefining the existing styles. They’re changing the paradigm and it’s bloody exciting, and while there are definitely swings and misses from this group when they get it right they’re very, very good. Stylistically, the best results for my money come from those playing up purity of fruit, site specific nuance and a textural profile that leans to digestible over the imposing.

Bondar are one of the best examples I have seen in recent times. Beautifully expressive, pure with medium weight styling but holding excellent vineyard and variety derived intensity.

The small brand comes from husband and wife team, Andre Bondar and Selina Kelly and they farm 20 hectare Rayner vineyard in the northern, higher altitude area of McLaren Vale bordering Blewitt Springs and Seaview. It’s notable for the sand and ironstone at the Blewitt Springs end which plays up spicier and savoury elements in the wines, adding fragrance. It already boasts 50 and 65 year old Grenache and Shiraz plantings respectively while Counoise has been added to the mix and in future more southern Rhone varietals will join the team.

The most recent set of new wines are a lovely selection. There are three and they’re all excellent. The Shiraz and Grenache are nicely pure and expressive and ultimately delicious. Made for drinking rather than pontificating but enough in them to keep you thinking. The rose is nicely dry and textural in the southern French traditional. They’re fun but not frivolous.