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Flat front label of wine
Flat front label of wine

Continuum (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
  • WS94
  • WE92
14.7% ABV
  • JS100
  • V98
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  • V97
  • JS99
  • RP97
  • WS94
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  • WS94
  • RP92
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14.7% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2009 Continuum is a magnificent and deeply sensual wine; we believe it to be an exceptional reflection of our unique estate. The majority of the fruit, more than 80%, is from our Pritchard Hill estate vineyards. These higher elevation sites with their red rocky soils grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Merlot with nerve, vitality and concentration. In general, the 2009 lots from Pritchard Hill have astonishing vibrancy and definition which is readily apparent in the finished wine. The 2009 is lush, rich and elegant showing supple, complex tannins layered with graphite and autumnal notes, all leading to an impressive extended finish. Aromas of wild black cherry, dark chocolate, bergamot zest and summer rose lead to blackberry, cardamom and black truffle on the palate. A wine of wonderful power and elegance, the 2009's inherent harmony and finesse make it delicious now, while assuring tremendous ageabilty.

77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Continuum comes across as much more understated next to the 2008. It has plenty of silkiness and finesse, but less of the size and shape of its older sibling. Dark cherries, espresso, exotic spices and licorice are woven together in a fabric of notable elegance and harmony. The 2009 Continuum is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 4% Merlot, 82% of which came from estate-grown fruit. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

I was super-impressed with the two wines I tasted from Continuum Estate, Tim Mondavi’s new venture on Pritchard Hill, not far from Chappellet and Bryant. Mondavi is gradually moving towards 100% estate fruit, but these early vintages include some fruit from vineyards in Oakville and Stags Leap. Continuum is distinguished by a fairly large presence of Cabernet Franc. This is one of the most exciting new properties in Napa Valley.

WS 94
Wine Spectator
Sleek and understated, making its mark with firm, dense, tightly wound espresso, dried berry, crushed rock and black licorice flavors, with a finish that emphasizes the loamy earthiness. The tannins are firm and well-integrated. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Best from 2014 through 2030.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
The '09 Continuum proves the adage that a great winery will produce fine wine even in a compromised vintage—such as 2009, with its cool conditions and rain during harvest. With dense tannins and a solid core of blackberry and spice flavors, the wine shows lovely complexity, with firm and masculine minerality. Still, it's gritty and too young now to enjoy. Cellar it for 6–8 years. Cellar Selection.
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Continuum

Continuum

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Continuum, Napa Valley, California
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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.

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960's, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those is the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Bordeaux Blends

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One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.

In the Glass

Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines modeled after the Right Bank are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure. Wines from Bordeaux lean towards a highly structured and earthy style whereas New World areas (as in the ones named above) tend to produce bold and fruit-forward blends. Either way, Bordeaux red blends generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, cedar, plum, graphite, and violet, with more red fruit flavors when Merlot makes up a high proportion of the blend.

Perfect Pairings

Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.

Sommelier Secret

While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.

SOU313539_2009 Item# 115921