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Continuum Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 [6/cs]

continuum cabernet sauvignon
California Napa Valley
Cabernet and Cabernet Blends
Type: Red Table Wine
Vintage: 2016

With the 2014 vintage, Continuum celebrated its 10th anniversary. With the 2015 vintage, this modern icon ventured into a new decade. A particularly vinous and tactile release, the 2016 is fragrant and rich, with complex character that beautifully expresses Continuum’s estate Sage Mountain vineyard. This mature 38 acre site sits on Pritchard Hill, in the eastern hills above Oakville. The west and south-facing slopes are planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot.

 

A slightly cooler growing season, 2016 produced a smaller than normal crop that benefited from an extended hang time. This new vintage of Continuum shows delicacy on the nose with citrus blossom and rose petal aromas. The wine builds in power and presence on the palate with cassis, dark fruits, bergamot, dried wild herb, and notes of cigar box and leather. 2016 is expansive and sinewy on the mid palate with a ferrous minerality.

 

Though small in volume, it is a vintage with considerable impact. Hand-harvested estate fruit was brought to the winery in small bins, sorted, de-stemmed, then transferred by gravity to French oak  and concrete tanks for fermentation by native yeast. The wine was basket-pressed, then matured in French oak barrels (66% new) (as well as one concrete amphora), then clarified slowly by settling and racking. It was bottled without fining or filtration.

 

2016 Continuum has heightened citrus blossom and rose petal aromatics, and builds in power and presence on the palate with cassis, dark fruits, bergamot, and dried wild herb with notes of cigar box and leather. Exquisitely balanced, 2016 is expansive and sinewy on the mid palate with a graphite and earthy minerality. The firm iron core of these volcanic soils causes the vines to struggle, producing fewer but more flavorful berries. That is expressed in 2016 Continuum’s vibrancy, many layers and assertive structure, all of which pay homage to its origin.

 

“Super aromas of blackberries, blackcurrants and blueberries. Hints of fresh herbs and tobacco. Iron and ink. Full-bodied, very tight and powerful, yet not too heavy. Lightly chewy and polished. So much nerve and intensity. Super length and depth. Drink after 2025, but a joy to taste now.”

100 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2019

 

“The 2016 Proprietary Red is blended of 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 18% Petit Verdot and 5% Merlot. Deep garnet-purple coloured, it emits an incredible array of seductive floral notes—violets, lavender and rose hip tea—with a core of warm cassis, redcurrant jelly, dark chocolate, cigar box, tapenade and crushed rocks plus hints of bay leaves, beef drippings and yeast extract. Medium to full-bodied, the palate explodes with vivacious black fruit sparked by red fruit, herbal and mineral accents. It is framed with a rock-solid line of firm, grainy, super ripe tannins and finishes with fantastic fragrance and freshness. Wow!”

99 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2019

 

“Continuum has been a deeply intriguing project from the very beginning, but in recent years Tim and Marcia Mondavi, along with their family, have taken their wines into the realm of the elite. I was super-impressed with all the wines I tasted during my most recent visit. Specifically, the increased use of Cabernet Franc in the blends gives these wines an extra dimension of nuance that is breathtaking. I tasted the 2016 Continuum from two hypothetical blends, both of which point to a vintage of significant potential. The first blend reveals a wine of considerable aromatic intensity and power, while the second shows the more nuanced side of the estate. Both are compelling.”

(94-97) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2018