2004 Ferrari-Carano PreVail West FaceLook Out Mountain
From 500 to 1,400 feet in elevation, this site produces a wine with aromas of mocha, blackberry and caramel balanced by a plush middle palate of ripe blackberry, cherry and currant. Earthy, smoky notes pose as a prelude to finishing flavors of toffee, espresso and chocolate while attractive tannins yield a delicious finish that lasts several minutes.
The 2004 growing season was a long, cool even-ripening vintage, starting with an early, mild spring followed by a memorable Labor Day weekend fire in the eastern hills of Alexander Valley that covered the vineyards with smoke and ash. This heat event gave way to a mild October, with the last of the grapes harvested by the middle of the month.
These 13-year-old mountain vines with ideal western sun exposure are dry farmed in verdant soil that adds impressive depth and flavor intensity to the wine. West Face is a blend of Clone 8 Cabernet Sauvignon along with Clone 470 and the Durrell selection clone. The grapes for West Face are hand-harvested, and upon entering the winery, hand-sorted and then gravity fed directly into oak tanks for seven days of cold soaking, then fermented and macerated for 28—35 days on the skins. After primary fermentation, the wine is gravity fed to barrel and aged in the wine caves for 22 months, with an additional 14 months aging in bottle prior to release.
PreVail West Face pairs well with braised, roasted or barbecued meats such as chicken, red meat, fish lamb or pork. Pastas, stews or well-aged medium and strong-flavored cheeses such as Tellagio also pair nicely.