Bondar Wines, ‘Violet Hour’ Shiraz, 2014£20.95
What's in the name:
“This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations grow again and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen magically along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at ant moment we may see the unicorn.” – Bernard DeVoto, “The Hour”.
How about the wine:
Hand-picked fruit from 65+ year old vines planted on Andre Bondar's Rayner Vineyard in McLaren Vale. This wine pays homage to the Bondar style with fragrance and a lightness of touch. He used a proportion of whole bunches, which helps to create that lightness, and adds dimensions of flavour and a silky mouth feel. Aged in mostly older French oak, Violet Hour should improve nicely over the next five years or so and will suit lighter meat dishes and pasta beautifully.
Bondar Wines, Adelaide Hills, Chardonnay, 2016£20.95
Sourced from a single-vineyard at 400m above sea level in the cool Echunga area, this wine was hand-picked and pressed straight to barrel, where it underwent a natural fermentation. Matured in four barrels (one new, three older French oak) for about nine months. Very similar to the 2014 with a slightly purer fruit profile. We recommend you open it and let it breathe, sit back and watch it settle into its own skin and sing. It's a wine that will age beautifully over the next few years.
90 dozen bottles made.
Read Mike Bennie's review from MBM Magazine (94 points):
“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.”
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Claymore ‘Nirvana’ Reserve Shiraz, 2012£27.95
This is the icon of legendary Claymore wines portfolio. You will never view a Shiraz in the same way.
This is a wine of elegance, finely structured and delicately balanced. Big juicy fruits are balanced by savoury, spicy elements in the mouth. Lusciously rich plums, blackberries and liquorice are wrapped in gently charry oak brought into line with crisp acidity. We only have a little left of this excellent 2010 vintage which we reserve for our private customers.
Claymore ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ Wine Mixed Case£42.25
There are 3 things we believe you should never do alone : Walk, Watch football and, Drink a good bottle of wine. That’s why we think a mixed case of Claymore’s official wine of Liverpool is the best for any game day.
In 2015 Claymore wines signed a three-season deal and is currently the ‘Official Wine Partner of Liverpool FC in Australia’. Whether it is football or wine, passion is the key that unites the two brands.
The case price of £42.25 includes a 10% discount. The selection is as follows:
Claymore Mixed Case£150.00
Many of Claymore’s wines are named after some of the world’s legendary rock songs, albums and artists. To them, the labels are those that resonate beyond their time, across generations and have become something of modern classics; they holds similar aspirations for their wines. To silence any critics who may see the rock icons as a gimmick, Claymore Wines has grown into a serious boutique wine business.
The case price of £150 includes a 10% discount. The selection is as follows:
Claymore Whole Lotta Love Rosé 2016£12.50
Rose petals and apple blossom sit alongside morello cherry and strawberry fruits on the nose. The aromatics indicate a level of sweetness so the off-dry nature of the wine is a welcome counterpoint. There is nothing cloying or sugary about this wine.
Claymore, ‘Bittersweet Symphony’, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016£14.95
Appearance – Bright ruby red
Nose- A distinctive varietal aroma of dark boysenberry and violets hits you at first but a little patience will reveal deeper characters of earthy forest floor leaves, cooked beetroot and hints of dried herbs.
Palate – Elegance and restraint are keys to this wine. A big mouthful of blackcurrant fruits is backed up by careful oak integration that delivers structure and depth. Savoury tannins are harmonious with the ever-present lashings of wild berries, liquorice and hints of leather and cedar.
General – Cabernet in the Clare Valley is distinct and powerful. It is one of the stronger varieties suited to the growing conditions and terroir of the region. The use of Merlot has a generous and appealing impact on the sometimes edgy and potent characters of Cabernet. They work hand in hand to give balance and richness to the drinker. Distinctly Cabernet with violets, leafy notes and red fruits, this wine is approachable and generous.
Serve With – Claymore's winemaker Marnie Roberts suggests pancetta wrapped lamb cutlets with olive tapenade served with grilled field mushrooms in sage butter.
Claymore, ‘Blackbird’ Sangiovese 2016£16.75
The 'Blackbird' is all about artisan, small batch winemaking. Hand plunged in one tonne open vats with minimal intervention and basket pressed to oak. This ensures that all of the primary fruit flavour from the vineyard is captured and drives what you taste in the mouth is a wonderfully full flavoured and balanced medium weight bright ruby red wine showing elegant, velvety tannins in the mouth with hints of dry and dusty earth. There is a deceptive succulence to this wine, with a mouth coating structure and lingering persistence on the palate; notes almost of strawberry cream element to the fruit profile and licks of fresh Italian leather.
The aromatics are lifted and appealing; fresh cranberries with green olives and lots of those pretty Sangiovese light berry fruits best served with roast pork with fresh fennel salad.
A little bird also told me (excuse the pun!) but the story behind the name Blackbird comes from the song Carissa Major (Claymore's General Manager) used to sing to her babies to get them to sleep.
Claymore, ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, 2014£16.95
Made with selected parcels of estate grown fruit from Claymore's Watervale and Penwortham vineyards, the 2014 Dark Side of the Moon Shiraz proves again the exceptional quality of their low yielding non-irrigated vines.
Maturation on oak barrels complements juicy dark berry fruit in this full flavoured wine – rich and generous with a soft, lingering finish. You are invited to explore the 'dark side' – now or after 6+ years in the cellar.
Claymore, ‘God is a DJ’ Riesling 2018£13.75
The great philosopher of our time, Pink, once told the world: “If God is a DJ, life is a dancefloor, love is the rhythm, you are the music.” Sure, Faithless sang it first, but Pink also told us to “get this party started” and this Claymore wine is about to do just that.
This is a single vineyard offering. Concentrated with purity and poise, it displays those classic Riesling characteristics of lemon and lime, as well as juicy nectarines, resulting in a delicate white that’ll get any party started.
Claymore, ‘Skinny Love’ Viognier, 2018£10.95
We've seen a trend of drinkers looking for low alcohol wines. New World wines tend to be more alcoholic because of the warmer temperatures but Claymore have picked their Viognier grapes early (hence the name on the label First Crush) which means not all the natural grape sugar has fermented into alcohol retaining some natural sweetness. The result: a naturally low alcohol wine through natural wine-making processes.
Even though we would like to tell you this is low calorie wine the name actually refers to the song Skinny Love by Birdy.
An early harvest wine that shows pretty floral notes of Jasmin and white peach.
Minimal intervention with this wine ensures that the mouthfeel of this wine is soft, balanced, integrated and appealing. Stone fruit and honeydew melon on the finish are complemented by natural acid and retained natural sugars. An extremely pretty, delicate and approachable wine. Hints of apricot flesh on the finish indicate the variety used for this wine.
Claymore, ‘Voodoo Child’ Chardonnay 2016£14.50
Light, bright yellow
Distinct and complex – floral with a hint of kiwi fruit and pawpaw. Notes of oyster shell and a minerality, with a hint of vanilla from slight oak complexity.
This is a wine of great fruit purity – a true expression of Watervale Chardonnay. Delicate acid with a slight nectarine and goat cheese finish are complemented by a beautiful layering of flavour enhanced by slight oak intervention. Persistence of acid on the finish brings a complexity to the wine of slate, mid-palate creaminess and vanilla. Textural, balance, lush and poise are all apt descriptors.
This a Claymore's exciting first release of Chardonnay – they acquired a stunning 45 acre established Watervale vineyard in June 2014 and from this have hand selected a 5 tonne parcel of dry-grown, 1960’s Chardonnay to become their first ever Chardonnay.
The grapes were hand harvested at optimal ripeness (with great acid/flavour balance), chilled the picking bins prior to crushing and then fermented the free run and pressings juice separately, at very cool temperature until dry. Some extended lees contact and oak maturation was utilized to add another dimension to an already complex wine.
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Claymore, “Flame” Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2010£24.95
This is the first production of what is a very exclusive, limited release wine. The grapes were hand selected for the best parcel of Cabernet then indulged with maturation in French oak for 4 years. This is a generous amount of time and two years longer than Claymore's Reserve Nirvana Shiraz.
The result is a deep, dark intense Cabernet with seamlessly integrated tannins and dense black fruits wound up in savoury oak spice.
Cellaring of this wine just adds to the reward.
Claymore, Black Magic Woman, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, 2015£27.50
The Black Magic Woman follows the footsteps of Claymore's ‘Nirvana Reserve Shiraz’ in that they lavish both wines with extended oak maturation in 20% new French oak. The nose shows cassis, dark plum, leathery spice and cheeky hints of fennel.
This wine defines charisma! Juicy plum and dark cherry fruits combine with licks of mint and fennel that overlay a slatey-granite earthiness. It’s a deep, dark, dangerously intense cabernet with integrated tannins and dense dark fruits wound up in savoury spice. This vintage of Black Magic Woman is alluring with a lingering persistence – a wine that defines the robust and delicate varietal nature of Clare Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
This is only our fourth release of a Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – it is only made when we have a standout vintage from the old cabernet vines in the Churinga Vineyard, located just North of Watervale. These dry grown, gnarled old gentlemen produce grapes that epitomise Clare Valley Cab at its best. Claymore have allowed this parcel some extra ripening to further concentrate flavour on the vine and then treat it with kid gloves in the winery. Two years in oak and minimal filtration produces a wine of depth, concentration and structure…a red to bewitch you!
Cellar or Drink?
Definitely a cellaring proposition – 8-10 years, however, try now to enjoy the robust delights of this wine in its youth.
Claymore, Joshua Tree, Riesling 2017
The good folks at Claymore wines are known for their top value, regionally expressive wines that deliver at all price points. The Joshua Tree Riesling is a delicious early drinking style of Riesling from the Clare Valley. It's ripe and ready, zingy, fresh and full of flavour. This is terrific value for what Winsor Dobbin called “One of the best rieslings from South Australia's Clare Valley”
What it Tastes Like
“Watervale riesling in eager-to-please mode. This is worth getting onto. It’s a beautiful Clare Valley riesling in a ready-to-drink way. It has excellent intensity and overall succulence; it’s dry but it draws you straight in. It’s just the ticket. It tastes of lime, bath salts and green apples and it works an absolute treat. Lovely ‘mouth perfume’ too, all blossomy and fresh.” – Campbell Mattinson (The Wine Front)
Claymore, London Calling, Cabernet Malbec 2017£15.95
This is Claymore's first release of their Cabernet Malbec blend under the London Calling label. Some may remember its predecessor, when it was 100% Merlot, well make way for this bolder beauty.
It hits the mark with plump dark fruits, violets, leafy notes and liquorice.
We just love this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec. The Cabernet brings structure with big tannins and classic varietal aspects of blackcurrant, cassis, liquorice and herbal notes. While the Malbec provides juicy plump plum and a mid-palate richness that entwines and harnesses the structure given by Cabernet.
Claymore, Superstition Reserve Riesling, 2016£17.95
Light yellow with green hues.
The unrivalled elegance and pristine fruit profile are very indicative of the vintage. Rich and supple fresh lime and white peach are all prominent with secondary aromas of mineral and blossom.
Lemon butter, lime flesh and hints of citrus are all pulled together with natural (no added) acid. This creates a balanced and integrated palate weight. 100% Free run with no added fining gives the wine texture and substance without hindering on the pure and delicate flavours that dictated picking in the vineyard.
This wine can be cellared for 10-15 years.
Claymore, YNWA “The Boot Room” Shiraz, 2015£18.50
You'll Never Walk Alone is perhaps the most famous song in football, and is heard before kick-off at every Liverpool match at Anfield and has been adopted as the Football Club's anthem.
Claymore Wines is the official partner of Liverpool Football Club in Australia and have created their YNWA series of wines.
“The Boot Room” Shiraz is made with selected parcels of estate grown fruit from Claymore's Watervale and Penwortham vineyards. The 2015 demonstrates the exceptional quality of Claymore's low yielding, non-irrigated vines (irrigated vines tend to create dilute flavours).
18 month maturation in oak barrels complements juicy dark berry fruit in this full flavoured wine – rich and generous with soft, lingering finish.