Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Alara Cellars 2018 Grenache Blanc, San Benito County

In 2018, I was a judge at the Central Coast Wine Competition and we selected the Alara Cellars 2017 Grenache Blanc as the “Best in Show” for white wines. It was the first time that a Grenache Blanc won the Best of Show Award in the competition’s history and it was the very first vintage for Alara Cellars. The bar was set pretty high for owner and winemaker Janu Goelz. Now the Alara Cellars 2018 Grenache Blanc has been released and it meets the bar that was set. It is the Please The Palate Wine of the Week.

Alara means the “ruler of all” in German, and in Turkish it means “she who brings color and power to your soul.” Janu started Alara Cellars in 2017 after first taking an interest in wine in 2012, after she met her now husband, and fellow winemaker, Jason. Previously Janu was a Weather Anchor and also started a clothing line. Her love of fashion is expressed on every bottle of wine she produces. She partnered with Fashion Designer Malene Grotrian who designs a woman in a dress in each label to reflect the aromas and flavors of the wines. And, with each vintage the dress changes.

The Alara Cellars 2018 Grenache Blanc has a woman dressed in a short pink dress with flowers on it and heels with laces that wrap up the leg. The image is youthful, flirty and fun and that is what the wine is.

The 2018 Grenache Blanc comes from the Siletto Family Vineyard in the San Benito AVA. The 2018 Grenache Blanc has notes of lime, white peach honeysuckle and a touch of vanilla. On the palate, the wine is youthful and crisp with a soft mid-palate from spending eight months in French oak (30% new and 70% neutral). The wine finishes with refreshing acidity making it a wine to pair with a white cream sauce.

The Alara Cellars 2018 Grenache Blanc retails for $39 and only 98 cases were produced.