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My Personal Recommendation For You

2011 Continuum Cabernet    Pritchard Hill, Napa; CA.     Our price $179.99

95 Pts Antonio Galloni / Pinnacle Cult Napa Cab

If one were to stand behind Napa’s historic Robert Mondavi Winery and look in a straight line through the winery’s tower and further through the crown of Opus One , they would see the hillside Continuum vineyards (pictured) far in the distance located on Pritchard Hill in the Vaca Mountains. The mountain range that forms the eastern boundary above Napa Valley is an area that has long produced superior wine – yet it still has not been officially recognized as a sub appellation of Napa! The vines, in fact, have been planted on and around the vicinity of Pritchard Hill since the late 1880′s by Italian American Vintners. And those belonging to Continuum are planted between an elevation of 1000 and 1500 feet!

With years of history and experience producing high-end Napa wines, Tim Mondavi, son of the late Cali wine icon, Robert Mondavi, ensures that this is not your ‘typical’ Napa Valley Cabernet-based blend, stating “Continuum, a blend of Cabernet family varieties grown in the Napa Valley, is a single red wine produced with clarity of focus at the highest quality level. ” He further adds, “I didn’t pick Pritchard Hill. I picked this soil, this exposure, this aspect”, calling himself “a convert from the valley floor: being above the fog, having thin soils. My Continuum is “Oakville with altitude!”

As a matter of course, this micro-terroir is now in fierce demand! Most particularly, two of Napa’s seven recognized cult wineries of Bryant Family and Colgin, and other acclaimed wineries like Chappellet, Ovid, Brand, and David Arthur , have set up production here, too!

2011 Production notes:

98% of the 2011 Continuum was grown on Pritchard Hill on the western hills above Oakville. Our 41 acres of mature estate vineyard, with an average age of 20 years, has a variety of western and south facing aspects. The remainder of the blend was sourced from vineyards on Mt. Veeder and Diamond Mountain. Fruit was hand-harvested in two pickings, between October 17 and 21st and again from October 29th through November 3rd. [75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Cabernet Franc, 12% Petit Verdot and 2% Merlot].

All fruit was selectively placed into small lug-boxes, sorted before and after de-stemming, then gravity fed into small French oak barrels, French oak tanks or cement tanks for fermentation. All lots had a lengthy maceration time, ranging from 21-43 days. During this time, pump overs and below the cap lees stirring were enacted daily. In addition, prior to pressing, rack and return was performed 3-4 times in each fermentation tank. After fermentation, all lots were drained, with pomace pressed separately, to 85% new small French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The lees were kept in barrel with the new wine for an extended period of stirring, to enrich the body, nourish the wine and polish the tannins. The wine was clarified slowly and naturally through the use of traditional settling and racking techniques and bottled without fining or filtration. Each vineyard lot was tasted and carefully considered when assembling. The 2011 spent 19 months in barrel Whoa!

Antonio Galloni’s review:

“The 2011 Continuum is a dark, brooding beauty. The 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. Drinking window: 2016 - 2031. Rated 95+ points .”

Tim Mondavi’s tasting notes:

“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 infused. 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.”

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