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Continuum Estate Proprietary Red Sage Mountain Vineyard Pritchard Hill Napa Valley 2021  - First Bottle


99 James Suckling -
This is so aromatic with blackcurrant, blackberry, graphite, iron, pine bark and orange peel. Hints of wild sage and peppermint. Seductive perfumes. Full-bodied with extremely well-integrated tannins that have great length. Elegant firmness at the finish. The quality of the tannins is some of the best I have had in a young Continuum. Seamless silk. Great finish. 45% cabernet sauvignon, 35% cabernet franc, 11% merlot and 9% petit verdot. Best after 2027.
98-100 The Wine Independent, Lisa Perrotti-Brown -
This note is written before the final blend of the 2021 Continuum. Deep purple-black in color, it hits the ground running with an intense nose of red and black currant preserves, lilacs, baker's chocolate, and graphite, leading to an undercurrant of black olives and red loam. On the medium to full-bodied palate it is very lively, grainy and super-concentrated, finishing long and shimmery.

Technical Details

  • Blend45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 11% Merlot and 9% Petit Verdot
  • WinemakerTim Mondavi
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • Sub-RegionNorth Coast
  • AppellationPritchard Hill
  • VineyardSage Mountain Vineyard
  • Alcohol14.1%

Continuum Estate Proprietary Red Sage Mountain Vineyard Pritchard Hill Napa Valley 2021

Bordeaux Blends  |  US
JS99, TWI98-100

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The Mondavi family's legacy lives on – from their glorious Pritchard Hill estate looking over the winery they lost in Oakville some two decades ago. This is romantic, history-in-the-making stuff, from what is shaping up to be a simply mind-blowing Napa Valley vintage! 99 points – and that’s just to start!

Fair warning! We have exactly THREE cases of this to start (thanks to Dante Mondavi himself!), and while we will certainly try to get more – there isn’t much of this fantastic, cabernet-based, Bordeaux-style blend to go we really can’t promise anything!

We've been following closely the progression of this special vineyard perched on the top of Pritchard Hill, and the vines are certainly in their prime, and Tim Mondavi’s scions, Robert’s grandchildren, are really starting to make an impact at this pristine Napa Valley estate. With time, this may prove to be the best Continuum to date – an aromatically intense, incredibly layered, seductive, and tightly wound beauty of a wine that gives all the depth, concentration, minerality, and balanced potential of a First Growth Bordeaux. Patience is required – this is Pritchard Hill, after all – but the 2021 vintage here is one that is sure to reward patience with a promise that will shine over the next 20-30 years. DAMN!!

The incredibly rocky rubble hill that has become famous across the world – Pritchard Hill – with its terroir expressed here like never before in all of the previous Continuums I’ve tasted over the years. The mineral and volcanic structure and perfume connect on an almost primal level, with the high-toned aromatics that are as complex as I’ve ever inhaled. Is it the cooling influence from nearby Lake Hennessey, or the high elevation? The meager soils, or the inherent nature of the 35% cabernet franc? Likely all of the above...and it is out of this world. Did I say wow, yet?

For sure, the greatest Continuum wine I have tasted, and so far it looks like the critics agree. A final blend of 45% cabernet sauvignon, 35% cabernet franc, 11% merlot, and 9% petit verdot...all singing in perfect harmony. With Lisa Perotti Brown’s 98-100 points on her barrel sample, and just recently upgraded by James Suckling’s stunning 99 point review (read them both below), the critics are recognizing the same greatness that I see here. This is the sort of wine to not necessarily grab the good scores, too – not nearly as approachable and friendly as the 2019, nor as opulent and rich as the 2018 – this is a tightly wound and brooding youth, nevertheless brimming with obvious and unlimited potential. I have no doubt it will only grow in stature and greatness over the years to the fastest fingers go the spoils!

** Quick anecdote for you all...several years ago, before Continuum had really opened up to the public, I got an opportunity for a behind-the-scenes tour (I had a friend dating one of Tim’s children at the time). After touring the stunning grounds, we ran into Tim standing on the newly built porch overlooking their newest cabernet franc vines and staring down across the valley towards Oakville. He said something I’ll never forget, like a quote that should have been stated to a historian, or news reporter, and not some guy he just met, “I’m standing here in the present, with my children, and looking over my future, with my vines, and down across the valley towards my family’s past...and the view is stunning.” And it really was. **

PAIRING IDEAS: Give this time, please! But when the moment is right – don’t jump right into the notion of a big ol’ steak. It can handle it, certainly, but the blend and aromatics really allow for something softer. I’m thinking duck breast, maybe with a bit of confit leg on the side, some blackberry gastrique, a bit of game jus, atop roasted root vegetables and hen of the wood mushrooms. Black truffle butter for the hedoniststoo...why not?!

About the Producer

Four generations of the Mondavi family have grown and produced wines among the world's finest. Cesare Mondavi was the first to bring wine to the table but it was his son Robert's passion for excellence, which inspired both his family and the world. Tim and Marcia Mondavi, along with their children, maintain this continuum of excellence, innovation, and tradition at their estate, high on Pritchard Hill.