Wine, art and design meld seamlessly in the Carrol Boyes portfolio. It seems fortuitous that this renowned designer of fine functional art has a brother – John Boyes – who is not only a farmer but whose partner and friend Neels Barnardt is a wine industry veteran. It must have been a natural progression to introduce wines to complement and enhance the lifestyle products. Winemaker Hendrik Snyman is responsible for the wines in the Sketchbook Collection, a range of six Intriguing limited edition wines, consisting of a rosé, chardonnay, chenin blanc ,cabernet sauvignon, merlot and red blend ( an imported champagne provides the bubbles). Vintages range from 2014 to 2016, with the bubbly a Gallic museum edition at 2006.
Chenin blanc and rosé were the duo I sampled, both 2016 vintages, and both presenting sensible 13% alcohol levels.
The Sketchbook rosé is an all-cinsaut affair produced from dryland Swartland grapes. Its attractive smoked salmon tint well suits the characterful wine that offers a dry briskness more assertive than most easy-drinking pinks. This is a rosé with attitude, not content just to offer a berry salad but cinsaut backbone in an autumn appetiser. It will also happily complement complex salads featuring seafood or poultry or partner a gourmet picnic with panache.
As with all the Sketchbook wines, Carrol Boyes designed the label, this one featuring her chosen model with a pink gloved hand, beckoning to be unscrewed.... It sells for R90.
To the chenin blanc, which, sadly does not offer a screwcap, but it's well worth hauling out the corkscrew. Like the rosé, bottle age has no doubt benefitted this wine, produced from dryland grapes in the Darling area. Left on the lees for three months before bottling, the press release states that no portion was wooded while Cathy van Zyl’s comment in Platter 2018 refers to a “well-handled 20% oaked portion.” This is a complex chenin, good structure alongside agreeable freshness to complement flavours of stone fruit . (I don’t detect the explosion of green apple mentioned in the press release.) If asked, I would have guessed that some wood was used to add depth to this chenin adorned with our lady, this time green-gloved, who seems to be contemplating the issue. It sells for R130.
The wines are available online and at the Carrol Boyes Waterfront store at the Waterfront. For more, see www.carrolboyeswines.com.