Ghost Block Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon
Napa Valley, California
Founded by Sara and Jonah Beer in 2014 (with Sara in the role of winemaker), Pilcrow marks a return to the proportionality of Napa Valley before size and weight trumped patience and craft. The fine-wine ambition that drives Pilcrow makes the clear expression of terroir an absolute and an ideal.
The 2016 Pilcrow Cabernet Sauvignon is the inaugural offering from the famed Ghost Block Vineyard which is just 16 acres in size and is farmed by Kendall Hoxsey-Onysko, third generation, family winegrower. The vineyard was established by her family in 1903 when they first planted grapevines around Yountville Hills. The vineyard draws its name from the fact that it lies next to Pioneer’s Cemetery where George Yount—and many of Napa’s first winegrowers—has been laid to rest.
Ghost Block Vineyard sits on the southern edge of the Yountville Hills—a unicorn ‘mountain’ vineyard that is one-of-a-kind in the Napa Valley. Originally a mountaintop above Stags Leap District, the vineyard site toppled to the valley floor as a part of the Nested Megaslides some 8 million years ago. This slide down the Vaca Range turned the bedrock on its side, exposing two epochs of Napa Volcanics. The vines themselves straddle this exposed terroir, expressing 100 million years of parent material.
The Yountville AVA climate is moderate, with cool marine influence and predictable, morning fog allowing for cool summer mornings and only moderately warm days. This combination helps to give the wine a nervous energy and grace that are highlighted by Pilcrow’s trademark, hands-off winemaking approach.
The wine showcases a neo-classic style and weight of some of the original wineries of the Napa Valley. This wine combines the cool climate nature of the AVA with the quiet elegance of old-Napa winemaking - which is to say that Sara uses little new oak, refrains from extended maceration and manages cellar protocols to be more reductive. Once again, Pilcrow delivers a wine of high, natural acid, low pH and moderate alcohol.