¶ The conflict between industrialism & the ancient methods of handicraftsmen which resulted in the muddle of the 19th century is now coming to its term.
¶ But tho’ industrialism has now won an almost complete victory, the handicrafts are not killed, & they cannot be quite killed because they meet an inherent, indestructible, permanent need in human nature.
An Essay on Typography
The 2014 Pilcrow Cabernet Sauvignon, Pym Rae Vineyard, is the inaugural offering from this boutique winery. It showcases the neo-classic style and proportionality of some of the original wineries of the Napa Valley and, specifically, Mt. Veeder. Pilcrow combines the mountain generosity of the AVA with the quiet elegance of old-Napa winemaking.
Cabernet Sauvignon varietal intensity is seen in the wine's black-fruit-meets-lavender aromas and flavors. The touches of currant, plum, herbs, and cedar are a great match for the nuances rooted in the Mt. Veeder AVA especially the wine's nerve and salinity, which are the result of the vineyard's small yield, high altitude, and close proximity to the cool San Pablo bay.
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Our promise with each vintage of Pilcrow is to celebrate the humanity of craftsmanship through neo-classic, small-lot wines that value grace and thoughtfulness. As new vineyards, new varieties and new vintages present their unique selves, this resolve will remain the same.
Pilcrow wines draw from distinct vineyards that demonstrate a clear sense of place—or terroir. Terroir is, in its most broadly defined sense, a summation of the differences that exist between unique vineyards. The fine-wine ambition that drives Pilcrow makes the clear expression of terroir an absolute and an ideal. As vintners, by looking for, caring for, and guarding the differentiating characteristics in each wine we stay alert to the exceptional possibilities in each.
Pym Rae vineyard is very typical of Mt. Veeder. The quintessential mountain terrain means that caring properly for the vineyard is labor intensive and viticulturally challenging. Ancient seabed soils with huge tracts of blue slate jut up into the vineyard blocks, a result of tectonic uplifting some millions of years ago. The altitude of Pym Rae’s upper blocks—1,800 feet—and the non-irrigation of the vines layers a distinct, terroir-specific signature over the varietal’s distinctive traits: plum, violets, and a salinity akin to crushed rocks.
The Pym Rae Vineyard's terroir and Pilcrow’s quiet approach to vinification delivers a wine of high acid, low pH, and moderate alcohol resulting in a wine with savory mouthfeel, perfumed aromas, and lighter weight.
Pilcrow was founded by wine-industry veteran Sara Beer. Raised in the United States by European parents, Sara discovered her passion for food, wine, and travel early in life.
Taking on the role of winemaker was a new one for Sara. She has been the grateful beneficiary of tremendous tutoring from many role models, mentors, and friends. Her role models include those who have made some of the great wines dotting the hillsides of the Napa Valley; think Mayacamas, Diamond Creek, and Dunn. Her mentors include some of the most thoughtful vintners in both the new world and the old, including John Williams, Jean-Michel Comme, and Jean-Nicolas Méo. Her friends—including Marco DiGiulio, Keith Emerson and Toshiaki Wakayama—have helped define, challenge, and develop the wine itself.
All of these influences and teachers have instilled and enriched the fine-wine ambition that drives Pilcrow.
Learn more of the story from the Napa Valley Register here.
Each vineyard and every wine that emanates from it has a personality. We pair each with a typeface that we think speaks to the vineyard and the wine. For the Pym Rae Vineyard we chose “Caslon” designed by William Caslon I in 1725.
William Caslon I (1692–1766) was one of England’s finest type engravers and type founders. He worked in the tradition of what is now called old-style serif letter design, which featured letters with a relatively organic structure resembling handwriting with a pen. Caslon established a tradition of designing type in London, which had not been common. There he was influenced by the imported Dutch Baroque typefaces popular in England at the time. Caslon created subtly different letter designs at different sizes, with increasing levels of fine detail and sharp contrast in stroke weight at larger sizes.
Caslon drew clear inspiration from the masters that came before him while boldly adding subtle, modern touches to his design. In the same way, the Pilcrow Pym Rae Cabernet Sauvignon is clearly founded in the vein of the old-Napa masters yet adds quiet refinement, making it a thoroughly modern wine.