The 2009 Continuum is still in that part of its life where fruit and texture dominate, while the more aromatic qualities are yet to fully emerge. A rich, explosive wine, the 2009 can be enjoyed young for its exuberance, but the best is yet to come. Personally, I would wait a bit on the 2009. The finish is rich, layered and sumptuous. (AG) 95+
Sleek and understated, making its mark with firm, dense, tightly wound espresso, dried berry, crushed rock and black licorice flavors, with a finish that emphasizes the loamy earthiness. The tannins are firm and well-integrated.(JL)
Proportion and polish are the strengths of this very deep wine, and, although starting out on a note of sweet fruit, it is far more than simply fruity. It smacks of vanilla and cream and shows the classic loamy traits of fine Napa Valley Cabernet, and its highlights of olives and roasted beets lend a distinctive twist all its own. It is supple and silky with bountiful yet mannerly tannins, and its considerable richness comes without sacrifice of refinement. All of its parts are so seamlessly fit that it is bound to tempt early drinking, but it has a long life before it and will age famously. *Two Stars*
Medium ruby-red. Deep, brooding aromas of cassis, licorice, dark chocolate and warm spices. Sweet and round on entry, then rather powerful in the middle, showing lovely floral lift to its medicinal black fruit flavors. Plenty of mouthfilling texture here but shapely too. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins. Comes across as a bit less sweet and pliant now than the 2008, but this is in a rather brooding phase today and needs time. (ST) 93+
The ’09 Continuum proves the adage that a great winery will produce fine wine even in a compromised vintage—such as 2009, with its cool conditions and rain during harvest. With dense tannins and a solid core of blackberry and spice flavors, the wine shows lovely complexity, with firm and masculine minerality. Still, it’s gritty and too young now to enjoy. *Cellar Selection*
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2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle "Cold Creek Vineyard" Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Elsewhere $30)