|Yesterday, my brother-in-law introduced me to Continuum. The new wine from Robert, Marcia and Tim Mondavi. And it was a unique experience not just because the wine was special (and rather expensive at $130 a bottle) but also because it marks a new beginning for an iconic wine family.|
As many of you may know, Robert Mondavi is something of a living, albeit tragic legend in Napa Valley and wine circles around the world. The Mondavi Winery which was established in 1966 grew to be one of the biggest and most reputable of Napa Valley wine brands in a short thirty year period.
And arguably, it was Robert Mondavi himself who put Californian wines on the map and made connoisseurs everywhere take American wine seriously. But it all ended rather unfortunately when Mr. Mondavi lost control of his own company and was forced to sell to Constellation Brands in December 2004. The saga is well documented in the gripping book The House of Mondavi which I highly recommend.
So I it was with much anticipation and bubbling enthusiasm that we tasted Continuum. It has just hit the market in the United States and the Continuum 2005 which we tasted represents the first wine that the family has made since they sold the Mondavi Winery. The family sees Continuum as a way to reclaim its rightful position in the Napa Valley wine pecking order.
Enough about the history. The wine was fantastic. A blend, the wine is 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc and 19% Petit Verdot. The grapes are sourced from an Oakville winery that the family has owned for generations. The wine itself is a deep purple color, with a beautiful complex nose (I caught both fruit and flowers). It is smooth and velvety – more like a high end Bordeaux than a Napa wine in some ways. It is full bodied, tannic, well balanced with a long finish.
Definitely a wine to buy if you can get your hands on one. Not surprisingly it has been given 95 points by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and 93 points by Wine Spectator. I believe it is only available at select retailers in the USA.
Fore more on the Mondavis read this article about the other branch of the family.
– Shiv Singh