The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2016

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30  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2016 A t the end of the day, wine is about trying to make people happy, and it's exactly this notion Caricature wines embraces so well. I last reviewed their Old Vine Zinfandel in August and was truly impressed with the value. This is mainly due to the fact that the wine delivers estate grown, rich, fruit-forward grapes from Lodi and Clarksburg inside the bottle and lighthearted humorous branding on the outside for fifteen smackers. I'd like to give all the credit to LangeTwins, one of the Tasting Panel's Lodi favorites, as Caricature is their second label, but the case may be that a lot of the brand's success can be attributed to Caricature Winemaker Karen Birmingham. Says Marketing Manager Kendra Altnow, "Karen is in tune with current wine styles. She's not imposing a specific character that's driven by ego; she wants to make consumer-friendly wines. We're very proud to have not only a strong female winemaker, but a winemaker who is creative and savvy. She's always asking for feedback from our sales team because they're out there tasting others on our wines and listening to comments, and Karen really hears what is being said." This being a Down the Aisle special report, we asked Birmingham how the outside label reflected what's inside the bottle: "The labels are artistic, with a specific style, fun but detailed and easy to love. This is exactly how I want the wines to come across— an approachable wine that is easy to enjoy, but if you do take the time to think about it, you will notice the features of the varietals that make it special." LangeTwins 2013 Caricature Red Wine, Lodi ($15) This Cab- dominant blend with a handful of Zinfandel and a touch of Malbec, Petit Verdot and Teroldego offers super ripe blackberry, black cherry, raspberry, a big dollop of vanilla and a touch of clove in a robust frame. Very good value. 90 LangeTwins 2013 Caricatures Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi ($15) Cherry pie filling, black- berry compote and dark chocolate with a smat- tering of vanilla against a smoky background. The burlesque label footed with the phrase "Wines of character with great legs" tells me they're not taking themselves too seriously, which makes me like the wine all the more. I can even hear the old-timey fellows on label muttering indeci- pherable compliments in British accents. Jolly good value. 89 A caricature of Caricature Winemaker Karen Birmingham. A Clever Caricature by Jessie Birschbach

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