Blackberries dark wet soil and blackcurrants. Graphite too. So aromatic. Pure fruit. Full-bodied with superbly polished fine tannins that draw you down through the center of palate. Extremely layered and the texture is so curated giving wonderful persistence. Real plushness and fine velvety texture. 50% cabernet sauvignon 37% cabernet franc 7% petit verdot and 6% merlot. Better after 2026.
Continuum's 2019 Proprietary Red is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon 37% Cabernet Franc 7% Petit Verdot and 6% Merlot all from the estate vineyard on Pritchard Hill. Aged in two-thirds new French oak with the balance in second or third-use barrels and a single concrete amphora it's remarkably dark in hue a deep saturated purple in the glass. On the nose it's floral and herbal yet fruit-driven with violets sage and bay leaf adding nuance to black cherries while the palate is full-bodied plush and silky. There's an enticing yin-yang to the interplay between high-toned herbals and bass notes of dark chocolate in this dense concentrated effort that finishes lush and long. It's a magnificent wine that should drink well for at least two decades. Proprietors Tim Mondavi and his daughter Carissa recently launched the 2019 Continuum at a tasting in New York City commemorating the Mondavi family's 100 years of winemaking. And while it was interesting to try some of the older Mondavi-involved wines presented?Robert Mondavi 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve 1995 Opus One 1998 Seña 1996 Luce 2003 Ornellaia 2014 Continuum?at the very least it was an opportunity to review the newest release without making the trek up Pritchard Hill. And since I had tasted the first releases of Continuum in New York with Tim and Carissa years ago it tied in nicely. The first three vintages of Continuum were composed of purchased fruit from Robert Mondavi Winery's portion of To Kalon rather than from the estate vineyard on Pritchard Hill and there is no doubt that the current wines are head and shoulders above (and different) from those first years. In fact the wines have continued to evolve as Tim and Carissa have learned more about their site's multiple vineyard blocks and Tim seems to have loosened his winemaker's compulsion to control absolutely everything possible while still retaining a painstaking attention to detail. Simply put Continuum's 2019 Proprietary Red is a compelling wine.