Tim’s take on the 2008!
March 1st, 2011
We are extremely excited about the new release of Continuum. This wine, the 2008, is our fourth offering and the first to reveal the true flavor of this amazing Pritchard Hill property. More than 70% of the blend was sourced from up here, high above Oakville on the eastern side of the Napa Valley. You can really taste the vineyard in the wine. This is what we have been working to make from the first, a wine reflective of our history, our passion for Cabernet family grapes and the fabulous character of our vineyard.
Below are a few notes on this stellar vintage-
2008 was the second year in a row of drought-like conditions with rainfall down by more than 60% Napa- wide. Bud break began in mid-March after more than a month of dry weather which set the stage for a hard frost, from late March to mid April; 27 days of serious cold hit the Napa Valley. Happily Continuum’s estate vineyards on Pritchard Hill were protected from most vagaries of the weather as a result of our higher elevations and westerly aspect. A heat spike during flowering in May did lower our crop levels but weather patterns were fairly mild from that point on until late August, when a week-long temperature jump pushed picking forward. However, no sooner did the heat arrive than it left again and the remainder of the harvest proceeded under cooler than normal conditions. Overall fruit quality from the estate was very good to excellent in 2008. Our non-estate growers also did well with Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot; Cabernet Franc was more uneven with some lots very good, while others underperformed and so did not make the grade.
All fruit was harvested over a period of five weeks from September 18 through October 25th with the Merlot and then the Cabernet Sauvignon harvested initially and the Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc picked last.
The 2008 Continuum is wonderfully balanced and deeply sensual wine; we believe it is the finest wine we have ever made. The majority of the fruit, more than 70%, is from our Pritchard Hill estate vineyards and these higher elevation sites with their red rocky soils grow Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Merlot with real nerve, vitality and concentration. In general, the 2008 lots, especially those from Pritchard Hill, had a wild, mineral power and texture which is readily apparent in the finished wine. The 2008 has great density and life: a powerful core of ripe fruit perfectly balanced by polished, supple tannins leading to a long, nuanced finish. Aromas of black plum, mulberry, and coffee spice lead to black cherry, bitter chocolate, tobacco and graphite flavors. A wine of exquisite power and elegance, its inherent harmony and balance make it delicious now, while assuring tremendous ageabilty.
For the fullest sensory experience we encourage decanting, allowing Continuum to breathe before serving. Decanting awakens the wine’s more purely fragrant expression and enhances the suppleness on the palate.
Our goal at Continuum Estate is to produce a single wine to be recognized among the finest in the world. As Sir Isaac Newton stated: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” For our family, my grandfather Cesare was a giant. It was on his shoulders that my father Robert stood with his great vision for wine. It is our aspiration to build solidly on this foundation as we realize the potential of this incredible site on Pritchard Hill. We don’t expect this to happen overnight, or in a decade, or even in a single generation, but we will make it happen, vintage by vintage.
My family and I thank you for your support and appreciation.