Darby’s Award-Winning Wines

We’ve been fans of Darby Winery from the beginning. In fact, I wrote a blog post about Darby Winery in September, 2007, when Darby English first opened the doors to a tasting room he shared with Alexandria Nicole Cellars in the Wine Warehouse in Woodinville.

At the time, I noted that his 2005 Destiny Ridge Syrah was “made for my palate.”

As the word spread about his awesome wines, Darby moved to his own tasting room in the warehouse; it was packed every time we visited. Last July, Wine Spectator gave his 2006 Dark Side Syrah 92 points. The next month, Darby moved again, this time to a new building in the Hollywood Schoolhouse area of Woodinville.

Darby wines get even better with each year: 2006 Chaos, 91 points Wine Spectator; 2007 Aunt Lee Syrah, 93 points Wine Spectator;  2007 Dark Side Syrah, 91 points Wine Enthusiast and 90 points Wine Spectator; 2007 The Swagger Reserve Cab, 92 points Wine Enthusiast, 90 points Wine Spectator; and 2009 Le Deuce Viognier/Roussanne blend, 92 points Wine Enthusiast. That’s an amazing list!

If you prefer full-bodied reds, as we do, you must try 2007 Dark Side Syrah. This is one big, meaty, tasty wine. I suspect its name comes from its dark, inky color.

We also recently shared a bottle of 2007 Chaos, a smooth blend of 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 12% Cab Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. This luscious wine made me think of cherries, berries and a wee bit of plum.

And we enjoyed 2008 Purple Haze, a rich blend of 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Malbec, 10% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Franc from four vineyards (Conner Lee, Sheridan, Stonetree and Boushey).

The next vintage, Darby’s 2009 Purple Haze, will be released Feb. 12. Darby also tells me that 2008 Aunt Lee Syrah and 2008 Flip Side, a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, will be released two weeks later, on Feb. 25.

And there’s more – in mid-March, Darby’s new label, Live Wire, will launch. According to Darby, all the red wines will  cost $25-28, while the price point for whites will be $18.  There will be limited quantities of a 2008 Cab Franc, Syrah, a Bordeaux blend, a Rose’ and a Viognier/Marsanne blend.

We’ll be back soon, and suggest you stop by Darby’s tasting room too!


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About Margot

Margot has been writing about wine since 1997 at KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon; ten years later, she created this blog. Write for Wine focuses on the fine wines of Washington state, with occasional posts about other northwest wine regions (Oregon and B.C.), California, ANZ and Bordeaux. A former national journalist in Canada, Margot has been a Washington wine enthusiast since moving to Seattle in 1999. Her motto: “It’s wine o’clock somewhere.”