It’s easy to fall in love with the sleek, eye-catching Alara Cellars labels that flaunt high fashion better than most ads in Esquire magazine. Besides which, Janu Goelz’s wines are aromatically refreshing compared to the horrid cologne samples the magazine exudes like the screed of excess. Her labels are courtesy of a partnership with fashion designer friend, Malene Grotrian, who transforms each varietal into a fashionably chic personality sketch.
The 2018 Albarino from Mission Ranch in Arroyo Seco is lighthearted, with delicate aromas of white peach, jasmine, honeydew melon and lime blossom. Flavors of lime, nectarine and a touch of gooseberry liven the palate and keep it flowing along a crisp centerline of acidity.
She follows this up with a rich version of 2018 Viognier from San Benito, where grapes can reach the kind of ripeness that delivers unctuous wines, with ample texture. This 2018 viognier is no exception, with aromas of pear, peaches and apricots drying in the summer sun, adding juicy citrus to the creamy palate. If you want to capture summer in a sip, this would be it.
The 2018 Grenache Blanc from San Benito elicits memories of key lime pie and fresh nectarines. Texturally, it exhibits the pleasing sandiness of cardamom sesame biscotti, with a squeeze of white currant on the finish.
Alara Cellars has a handle on whites, a much-needed addition to the very red landscape of Santa Clara.