2022 Bondar ‘Violet Hour’ Shiraz McLaren Vale

This was the first cuvée under the Bondar banner, and it remains one of Australian wine’s great bargains. Floral, spicy, buoyantly fruitful, this is supple with both depth and appealing freshness.

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Named after the fading light after Andre Bondar and Selina Kelly had picked the fruit for their first wine in 2012, the ‘Violet Hour’ is a flag in the ground for the Bondar style, where perfume is favoured over heft, and the fruit and site take precedent over winemaking artefact.

Tasting note

Vibrant and forward, there’s a genuine seriousness to this. Anise, sour plum, liqueur and blue floral notes complex classic varietal notes of red and black forest berries. There’s a sandy-sited feel to the expressive perfume, but it’s a wine that is nonetheless grounded in intensity and fruit presence. On the palate, it is supple but also chewy, with an iodine/kelp mineral character adding intriguing regional detail.

Themes of this wine


Shiraz dominates the Australian wine industry, accounting for nearly a third of this country’s vines. The grape’s traditional home is in France’s Northern Rhône, with wines that combine elegance and power, while Australia is perhaps best known for the muscular styles from warmer areas. Today, drinkers of Australian shiraz are spoilt for choice with expressions ranging from the elegant and spicy to the monumental.

McLaren Vale

While it couldn’t feel any more removed from city life, the McLaren Vale wine region is inside Adelaide’s metropolitan area. And although the township itself is only 40 minutes by car from central Adelaide and vineyards brush up against ever-encroaching housing, McLaren Vale remains unaffected by the urban sprawl. With deeply etched history, the Vale has a slow-paced sense of calm and an extraordinary wealth of untrammelled beauty. It is home to some of this country’s most beautifully pristine beaches, as well as some of the world’s most forward-thinking grape-growers and winemakers. And with over 80 cellar doors, it is an essential destination for wine lovers – and anyone else, for that matter.

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