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 2017 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.
Though small in volume, 2017 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.
2017 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, 2017 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 2017 Continuum’s vibrancy, many layers and assertive structure, all of which pay homage to its origin.
“The 2017 Proprietary Red Wine Sage Mountain Vineyard comes across as remarkably primary. Bright red-toned fruit and floral notes give the 2017 striking freshness as well as nuance. Deep and layered on the palate, with superb depth, the 2017 Continuum is easily one of the wines of the year. Even in the early going, it is truly magnificent.”
96+ points, Antonio Galloni vinous.com, Jan 2020