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Continuum 2008

Bordeaux Red Blends from Napa Valley, California
  • WS96
  • RP96
  • JS93
  • WE91
0% ABV
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  • WS93
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Winemaker Notes

#80 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

The 2008 Continuum is wonderfully balanced and deeply sensual wine; we believe itis the finest wine we have ever made. The majority of the fruit, more than 70%, is from our Pritchard Hill estate vineyards and these higher elevation sites with their red rocky soils grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Merlot with real nerve, vitality and concentration. In general, the 2008 lots, especially those from Pritchard Hill had a wild, mineral power and texture which is readily apparent in the finished wine. The 2008 has great density and life; a powerful core of ripe fruit perfectly balanced by polished, supple tannins leading to a long, nuanced finish. Aromas of black plum, mulberry, and coffee spice lead to black cherry, bitter chocolate, tobacco and graphite flavors. A wine of exquisite power and elegance,its inherent harmony and balance make it delicious now, while assuring tremendous ageabilty.

For the fullest sensory experience we encourage decanting, allowing Continuum to breathebefore serving. Decanting awakens the wine's more purely fragrant expression and enhances thesuppleness on the palate.

71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 96
Wine Spectator
A remarkable effort, offering riveting, expressive aromas of mocha, currant, mineral, herb, black licorice, tar and pebble, this is intense, structured, balanced, nuanced and firm, finishing with a gutsy richness and sophistication. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. Best from 2013 through 2023. 2,200 cases made.
RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Continuum is a striking wine endowed with gorgeous aromatics, expressive fruit and flat-out great balance. Espresso, grilled herbs, licorice and violets add complexity to the super-ripe black fruit. Despite the wine’s textural richness and opulence, there is plenty of underlying structure. This is a totally captivating wine. I can’t wait to taste it in another 5 years. In 2008 Continuum is 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot, most of which is estate grown fruit from the winery’s vineyards on Pritchard Hill. Fermentation and maceration was quite long, and averaged 35 days. The wine was aged in 100% new oak barrels. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2028.
JS 93
James Suckling
Sweet plums and raspberries. Forest floor character. Full body, with firm and silky tannins and a bright finish of dark fruits and citrus. Racy and refined. Dense and balanced. Closed still. Excellent potential from Tim Mondavi.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
A Bordeaux blend, based on Cabernet Sauvignon. It's very rich and ripe, a with that will appeal to fans of the modern California style for its voluptuous berry, cherry, cassis, spice and cedar flavors. The tannins are soft and gentle. Delicious and complex, if not quite up to the 2007. Give it a good, long decant.
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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 1960s, 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 1980s, 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 are 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.

PDX108876_2008 Item# 108876