Darby English first began making wine in 2001. By 2005 he was making 200 cases of Syrah. Two years later he opened his tasting room in Woodinville in the warehouse district. Darby sources from some of the best vineyards in the state including Stonetree, Connor Lee, and Stillwater Creek. Darby was taught by some of the best as Mark McNiely of Mark Ryan Winery, Tim Stevens of Stevens Winery, Chris Gorman of Gorman Winery and Bob Betz of Betz Family Winery have served as previous mentors. He currently makes between 3500 to 4000 cases per year and now has some excellent Bordeaux style wines, along with the Rhone varietals.
A visit to their modern new tasting room (a few doors down from Long Shadows in Woodinville) and you will see the excellent terroir of the wines, that perform well even in difficult vintages. Darby has achieved multiple scores of 93 and 92 from Wine Spectator in the past and was named a “Winemaker to Watch” in 2010 by Seattle Magazine. Their current releases of wines are long lasting wines that need cellaring. Here are some of the great new releases that I tried at Darby:
2013 Darby ‘Le Deuce’- Nose has pear, grapefruit and golden delicious. Palate has starfruit, pear, red delicious and nice minerality. Very solid. -91
2011 Darby ‘Flipside’- GSM blend. Smoke and red currant with raspberry on the nose. Palate has red currant, smoked meats, blackberry and anise. Balanced and medium weight. Drink 2015 on. -90
2012 Darby ‘Aunt Lee’ Syrah-100% Syrah. Nose has smoke, tar and blackberry pie. Palate has nice weight. Blackberry, anise, black cherry and black tea. Drink 2016 on. -91
2011 Darby ‘Chaos’- Bordeaux style blend. Vegetal nose with red bell pepper, smoke, and black cherry. Palate has cherry tomato, red cherry, raspberry and anise. Drink 2016 on. -91
2010 Darby ‘Swagger’- Cabernet dominant blend that has anise, blackberry and smoke on the nose. Red cherry, blackberry and anise on the palate. Restrained and needs time. Drink after 2017. -91
2012 Darby Mouvedre- Vegetal nose with red bell pepper, red cherry and smoked meats. Palate has red cherry, smoke and cranberry. Needs time. Drink 2016 on. -90