Tim Mondavi's Continuum project represents the culmination of over 80 years of Mondavi winemaking knowhow both in the Napa Valley and further afield. The project began in 2005 following the sale of Opus One, an event that left the family 'heartbroken', but also rather wealthy. A new project was required, and Continuum was born. In the early days fruit was purchased from the ex-Mondavi owned To Kalon vineyard. Since 2012 the estate wine has been produced exclusively from their own 62 acres of prime vine real estate on Pritchard Hill, where the well-drained, volcanic, iron rich soils produce wines of structure, precision and longevity. Situated just above the fog line, this is clearly a great place to grow Cabernet Sauvignon as lovers of Chappellet will attest to. Other notable neighbours include Colgin, Ovid and Bryant Family.
Winemaking is fastidious, technologically advanced, but also respectful of a great terroir. The blend in 2014 mirrors the vineyard plantings, with 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% each of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, and 5% Merlot. The resulting wine comes across as dark fruited, complex, structured and spicy, texturally sleek but powerful, with good acidity and plenty of tannic, mineral backbone to steer it through decades of ageing. On a more general note, the 2014s that are starting to emerge from Napa are a beautiful follow up to the 2013s, a little more on the elegant side of things, more approachable at an early age, but with all the balance to ensure very long lives. This example is no exception.
"A raw, intense wine, the 2014 Continuum reveals serious intensity. Next to some of the more recent vintages, the 2014 is a bit more lithe and linear in feel, but like the 2013, it shows darker tonalities of fruit and terrific energy. Mocha, black cherries, graphite and cloves add the final shades of nuance. Although it is early, the 2014 is shaping up very nicely." (93-96) Antonio Galloni