Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
The 2011 has a deep red robe, black highlights and a vibrant violet rim. Primary aromas of black cherry, mulberry, rose petal and Ethiopian coffee develop greater nuance as the wine breathes, revealing red cherry, chocolate, fig and cardamom. On the palate, ripe damson plum, savory aged beef and allspice infuse the wine's silky tannins and rich velvety texture. The 2011 is full yet supple, with a long and complex finish and a vibrant core of minerality. Decant the 2011 and enjoy today or hold and cellar it for an additional 10 to 15 years.
Blend: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2011 Continuum is a dark, brooding beauty. The heavy presence of Petit Verdot, 11% in this vintage, is clearly felt in the wine's somber, intense personality. The 2011 is going to require significant patience. It boasts superb density and pedigree, but it was also bottled just a few months ago, and is a bit unsettled at this stage. The 2011 was made from virtually all estate fruit, with a splash of Petit Verdot from Mount Veeder.
The Wine Advocate - "Another strong effort by Tim Mondavi from this relatively new project on Pritchard Hill, the 2011 Continuum’s final blend was 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Petit Verdot, 11% Cabernet Franc and 2% Merlot. Harvested late, between October 17 and November 3, it spent 19 months in 85% new French oak. The wine’s impressive deep ruby/plum/purple color is followed by notes of blackcurrants, black cherries and spring flowers. Like most 2011s, it has evolved early, but it is a medium to full-bodied beauty that represents one of the most successful wines of the vintage. Drink it now and over the next 12-16 years."
International Wine Cellar - " Full ruby-red. Sexy, slightly liqueur-like aromas of currant, plum syrup, licorice, menthol and iron. Spicy and energetic but with a soft, creamy middle giving the wine considerable early appeal. Not a hugely fleshy or structured cabernet but offers lovely restrained sweetness and inner-mouth aromatic character. Finishes with building, slightly tough mountain tannins that call for four or five years of patience. 92(+?) points"
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Continuum is a celebration of the Mondavi family's proud history in Napa Valley; a single wine from a single estate committed to standing in the company of the great wines of the world. Located high atop Pritchard Hill on the eastern side of the Napa Valley, Continuum is a unique blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Tim Mondavi believes that wine is an artistic expression of man's harmony with nature and as such, production practices at Continuum honor and support the vineyards through balancing the essence of classic techniques with modern day innovations. Continuum's goat is to craft balanced wine of power, finesse and elegance - wines that re expressions of the land, the people and the vintage. View all Continuum Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.