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Continuum Red Blend 2017 MAGNUM is made from 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 9% Merlot
2017 was a vintage of extremes, with abundant rain in the winter months and record-breaking heat waves during the growing season. A testament in resiliency, the wine bears the hallmarks of the elevation and terroir at Sage Mountain Vineyard, showcasing exquisite vibrancy, many layers of flavor, ferrous minerality and fragrant wild herb notes. 2017 Continuum shows freshness, hinting at rose petal on the nose with cacao, black cherry and plum giving way to a plush, silky mid palate. Fine tannins of crushed stone and subtle undertones of tapenade are present through a beautifully persistent finish.
Wonderful blackberry and blackcurrant aromas here with hints of mint and fresh sage. Some cassis. Wrought iron, too. Full-bodied, tight and elegant with lovely tension. Beautiful. Ends fine and focused. Drinkable now, but better after 2022. -James Suckling 98 Points
A blend of 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 9% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple 2017 Proprietary Red soars out of the glass with notions of baked blueberries, plum preserves and blackcurrant cordial, backed up by nuances of chocolate mint, wild sage, violets and pencil shavings, plus an earthy hint of Chinese five spice. The rich, seductive, full-bodied palate is jam-packed with spicy black fruit preserves, framed by wonderfully plush tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long and opulent. -Wine Advocate 97+ Points
All great wines begin with a great site. From our early days in St. Helena to our father Roberts’s establishment of his winery in Oakville, our family has recognized the importance of this; Continuum takes the next step. Continuum had to be a hillside site, on the east side of the valley with a westerly aspect. Continuum also needed the right soil; volcanic, iron rich soils to grow wines with great structure, focus and agebility. Four generations and a lifetime of experience brought us to this estate on Pritchard Hill. Our estate has the perfect combination of soils, exposure and climate to grow wine in the company of the world's finest.
Continuum Estate is located on the east side of Napa Valley high on Pritchard Hill, overlooking Oakville to the west. Low vigor red, rocky, volcanic and loam soils make this a truly magnificent hillside vineyard. The estate has two distinct soils types-Rock-Hambright loam & Sobrante loam. Both sets of soil are a mix of clay loam, fractured volcanic material and immense quantities of andesite rock. These shallow soils drain well with low to moderate fertility. Elevations range from 1325 to 1600 feet with southwest and west facing slopes. This location is the perfect site to grow rich, concentrated Cabernet family fruit.
Our estate winery was specially designed by architect Howard Backen and his team to work in harmony with this magnificent site. The winery design enables us to both protect the integrity of the fruit coming in from the vineyard and meticulously care for each individual lot, so as to further enhance the purity of the fruit and each block’s unique character.O
ll fruit is selectively hand-harvested into small lug-boxes, sorted before and after de-stemming, then gravity fed into a combination of specially designed small French oak and cement tanks, with a small amount going to French oak barrels for fermentation. Each lot enjoys a lengthy maceration time, ranging from 21-43 days. During this time, pump overs and below the cap lees stirring are enacted daily. In addition, prior to pressing, rack and return is performed 3-4 times in each fermentation tank. Post-fermentation, all lots are drained, with pomace pressed separately, to 85% new small French oak barrels for malolactic fermentation. The lees are 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 is clarified slowly and naturally through the use of traditional settling and racking techniques and bottled without fining or filtration. In the end, 25-30% of potential lots are declassified as they do not meet Continuum’s standard of quality. On average, each vintage will spend 19-20 months in barrel.A
Continuum Red Blend 2017 is made from 54% Cabernet Sauvignon,31% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot, 6% Merlot
VINTAGE NOTES- The 2018 growing season was a winemaker’s dream given the overall cooler weather patterns paired with ample sunshine. The spring brought timely, abundant rainfall nourishing the earth and setting the stage for a healthy crop. Moderately cool temperatures post veraison allowed the fruit an extended hang time, retaining vibrancy and evolving character complexity. Berry size was smaller than average, however berry count was up given the bountiful rain, leading to a relatively generous crop size for the estate at 2.4 tons per acre, still quite small by any measure. Harvest began 135 days from bloom on September 27th, and continued at an unforced and purposeful pace, reflecting the fewest degree days on record for August and September. Harvest concluded on October 22nd.
WINEGROWING- Continuum is estate grown on our Sage Mountain Vineyard. It’s location, high on Pritchard Hill along the eastern ridge above Oakville, overlooks Napa Valley and the San Francisco Bay. The rocky, volcanic soils of the site focus the vine’s energy keeping yields low yielding fruit of depth and complexity. 38 acres of mature estate vineyard, planted in 1991 and 1996, with additional plantings in 2004, 2010, together comprise 38 distinct vineyard blocks. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Merlot are grown from 1300 to 1600 feet in elevation, on western and southern facing aspects with slight northern and eastern slopes in places. This diversity of plantings on our volcanic soils are the essence of the complexity of Continuum.
PRODUCTION- Continuum is 100% estate grown, produced and bottled. All fruit is selectively hand-harvested at night. The fruit is then sorted before and after de-stemming, and gravity fed into French oak or concrete tanks. A threeday cold soak is followed by fermentation, receiving three to four pumpovers daily, and délestage two to three times in total during the most active period. The wine remains on skins in tank for 20 to 40 days. All lots are then drained, basket pressed, and transferred with lees for malolactic fermentation and aging. In 2018, Continuum spent 22 months in barrel. 63 percent of French oak barrels were new and 35 percent were once used. A single concrete amphora was also used for aging. The wine clarified slowly and settled naturally in our cold barrel room, was racked sparingly and bottled without fining or filtration. Each vineyard lot was tasted and carefully considered many times to assemble the 2018 blend. TASTING NOTES- 2018 Continuum shows energy and verve. The wine expresses purity and precision, with high tone aromatics of red and blue fruit, deep plum and rose oil. This vintage shows an approachable nerve of the land in the refined mineral quality on the palate. The surrounding native vegetation of bay and sage is evidenced in an earthy, savory profile. This is a shimmering, silky and harmoniously integrated wine with densely packed fine grain tannins. 2018 Continuum is a wine for the ages, delicious today with a long life ahead.
DECANTING- For the fullest sensory experience we encourage decanting to allow the wine to breathe before serving. Decanting awakens the wine’s more purely fragrant expression and enhances the suppleness of the palate. Continuum is accessible and enjoyable upon release; however extended aging will be richly rewarded.
Composed of 54% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Cabernet Franc, 9% Petit Verdot and 6% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple 2018 Proprietary Red has a fantastically fragrant nose of candied violets, red roses, Morello cherries and blackcurrant pastilles with hints of wild blueberries, red currant jelly, iron ore and forest floor, plus a waft of cinnamon stick. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely packed with tightly wound black and red berry layers, framed by firm, ripe, finely grained tannins and seamless freshness, finishing with incredibly persistent and evocative floral and mineral layers. An absolute head-turner, this 2018 is all that and then some. Tim Mondavi mentioned that this is due to be bottled in just a few weeks—mid-August—meaning this barrel sample I tasted is pretty close to being a finished wine. With the estate vineyard turning 10 year's old in 2018, here's where we see how incredibly special this singular Pritchard Hill site really is. -Wine Advocate 98-100 Points
Avennia Gravura Red Blend is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc
Gravura is our ode to the Graves AOC of Bordeaux, emphasizing a harmony of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The name is a play on an artisan printing technique, and on the Bordeaux region of Graves, which features similar blends. Featuring more Merlot and with the addition of Red Mountain fruit, this wine is designed to be more generous and voluptuous in style, while still remaining complex and balanced.
Gravura Tasting Notes: Beautiful nose of red and black fruits, some savory leaf notes, mocha, pencil shavings. The palate is elegant and balanced, almost pretty: raspberry, black and red currants, milk chocolate and caressing tannins. Finish medium-long and ethereal.
Dominus Napa Valley Red Blend is made from 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
The historic Napanook Vineyard, a 124-acre site west of Yountville, was planted in 1838. This vineyard was the source of fruit for some of the finest Napa Valley wines. Estate-bottled in the spirit of the Bordeaux châteaux, Dominus Estate is dry-farmed to allow natural stress and good concentration of fruit. Grape clusters are crop-thinned to allow sun and air to pass in between, helping to achieve full maturation and soften the tannins. Only 20% to 40% new French oak barrels are used in order to limit the extraction of oak notes. To express the unique terroir, the classic Bordeaux grape varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot are planted with different root stocks best suited for the varying soil composition of gravel, heavy clay and loam.
The flagship 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon checks in as 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot brought up in 40% new French oak. With an essence of Cabernet-like character in its darker currants, green tobacco, cedar, graphite, and floral aromas and flavors, this gorgeous wine is full-bodied and has bright yet integrated acidity, polished tannins, and a great, great finish. It’s just gorgeously put together and a magical, flawless wine. It's going to take a decade to hit maturity but will evolve for 40-50 years in cold cellars. It is as good as it gets in classic, age-worthy Cabernet Sauvignon!
- Jeb Dunnuck 100 Points
Very deep garnet-purple colored, the 2018 Dominus slowly emerges from the glass with profound notes of blackcurrant cordial, ripe black plums, boysenberries and Black Forest cake with hints of violets, star anise, cracked black pepper, raspberry leaves and pencil lead, plus a touch of garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers impactful black fruit layers, creating a beguiling sense of richness that is beautifully countered by invigorating freshness and great poise, framed by super ripe, plush tannins and beautiful tension, finishing on a lingering fragrant earth note and, finally, lots of mineral sparks. For all that it is at the moment, one cannot help but feel that this 2018 is holding something back. Give it a good five years in bottle, at least, and then get set for what I suspect will be a mind-blowing transformation over the next 30 years+.
-Wine Advocate 99+ Points
Avennia Justine Red Blend 56% Grenache, 31% Mourvèdre, 13% Syrah
Justine reflects our belief that Washington is capable of producing world class blends of grape varieties traditional to the Southern Rhone region of France. The name is inspired by one of the great heroines of recent literature, who also sprung from the imagination of the Mediterranean. Dark, seductive, complex, with a chasm of depth: The Justine is a great reflection of Avennia's mission of expression, and Washington's generous terroir.
Tasting Note: Big black cherry, blackberry, hints of orange peel, fresh herbs and loam on the nose. Plush and round on the palate. Dark earthy fruits from the Mourvedre, along with citrus high notes, mountain flowers, jasmine, and savory herbs. Balanced and complex without forgetting its hedonistic roots in the Southern Rhone.
"Grenache (61%) is in the lead on this wine, followed by Mourvèdre (23%) and Syrah. Alluring aromas of raspberry, blueberry, thistle, herb, smoked meat and black pepper are followed by lush, achingly pure red and blue fruit flavors, accented by a lovely sense of spicing. It's deft but pure. Smoked meat and black pepper notes linger on the extremely long finish. The balance throughout is impressive—a complete stunner. Best from 2023 to 2030, with good life beyond that. - SEAN P. SULLIVAN"
- Wine Enthusiast (April 2020), 93 pts, Editors' Choice
Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.
The story of this wine - The Sestina is an ancient form of poetry from Medieval France. Just as a modern poet can fill this form with new expressions, Avennia uses the traditional Bordeaux blend to express Washington. Sestina is their vision for an old vine, complex blend where all of the components complement each other. This wine is designed for the cellar, so the emphasis is on structure, balance, and complexity.
Winemaker Tasting Notes - “Good deep ruby/garnet color, with aromas of black cherry, fresh black currant, dark mocha, cigar box, and graphite. The palate is lively and dense with mountain berries, mocha, vanilla honey, damp earth, and wildflowers. The finish shows a distinct chalky minerality and beautiful tension. This is a classically balanced and ageworthy Sestina. Drink 2025-2040.” - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"The Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated release from Peterson, the 2017 Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, sappy herbs, violets, and cedar pencil all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly pure, polished 2017 that offers flawless balance, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. It's more approachable than normal yet is still going to evolve for 15 to 20 years. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all raised 20 months in 50% new French oak."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95 pts
Keermont Red Blend 2012 is made from 37% Merlot 29% Cabernet Sauvignon and the remainder Cabernet Franc, Syrah and Malbec
Venetian red in colour, this wine exudes complex aromas of ripe cherry, wild berries, and dusty 'fynbos'. The palate has an array of ripe berries, cherry sherbet, crushed herbs and spices. Elegant but firm tannin affords the wine a long dry succulent finish. Drink 2015-2025.
Ottella Lugana DOC Le Creete is made from 100% Turbiano (clonal type of Trebbiano di Lugana)
Wolfberger Alsace Pinot Gris is made from 100 percent Pinot Gris.
Powerful and well structured wine. Round, rich, offering fruity aromas, toasty and spicy notes.
Excellent as an aperitif, it also pairs well with poultry, game and numerous cheeses.