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Mother Nature's mischief

The 2003 cabernet sauvignon lived through some significant history, from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to the rise of Lady Gaga and the inauguration of the first African-American president.

And yet it seems time stood still inside these youthful wines. They tasted of vibrant, fresh fruit when uncorked for our recent Press Democrat 10-year cabernet sauvignon retrospective tasting.

But Mother Nature made some mischief in the vineyards in 2003, and despite the wines' vigor, some developed less depth and complexity as they aged than in past vintages.

Here's a glimpse of the top winners:

First Place, a tie:

Sbragia Family Vineyards, 2003 Monte Rosso Vineyard Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.4 percent alcohol

Shafer 2003 Napa Valley Stag's Leap District Hillside Select Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.9 percent.

2nd place:

Burgess, 2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.9 percent.

3rd place:


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