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Winery Praise

2011 | Seattle Magazine
Seattle Magazine rated Darby Winery on their annual Top 100 list.

2010 | Seattle Magazine “Winemaker to Watch”
“Darby English caught the wine bug in a big way when he moved back to Seattle from Arizona, where he’d been a competitive golfer and wine buyer. He discovered the Woodinville scene, and in 2004 began making wine in his basement there. His first experiment was “a big learning experience,” and in 2005, some Walla Walla fruit he used “opened his eyes” to the value of high-quality grapes in the winemaking process. “I’m a big Rhones fan,” English says, and he seeks out single-vineyard lots of Syrah, Grenache, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne, and ferments each one separately for his La Douce Roussanne, The Dark Side Syrah and other wines. “What we do is labor intensive and takes a long time,” he says. “But it creates a much better, more balanced wine.” English, 37, feels that this arduous process lets him get to know the wines. And so far, all the extra work is paying off.”

2010 | Seattle Magazine
Seattle Magazine rated Darby Winery on their annual Top 100 list.

The Flip Side

2011 | 92 pts Wine Spectator
“Smooth and distinctive, with a strong mineral note running through the currant and boysenberry flavors, finishing with a supple texture and graceful generosity. Grenache, Mourvèdre and Syrah. Drink now through 2018.” –HS

Purple Haze

2011 | 91 pts Wine Spectator
“Vivid, focused, polished and expressive, with layers of currant, plum, spice and wet earth flavors, finishing on a distinctive mineral note. Has depth and distinction. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. Best from 2015 through 2019.”–HS

The Dark Side Syrah

2008 | 92pts Wine Spectator
“Supple, round and distinctive for its cinnamon- and fig-accented blackberry and cherry flavors, finishing on a smoky note. There’s a savory feel to the aftertaste. Drink now through 2016. 400 cases made.” –HS

2007 | 92pts Wine Enthusiast
“Syrah is a core strength of Darby, and as with previous vintages, this is dense and aromatic, leading from floral scents into a dark, almost broodingly deep core of blackberries, cassis and pepper. Full-bodied and 14.4% alcohol, this captures the essential strengths of Washington Syrah, done as a fruit-driven, berry-laden style.” –PG

2007 | 90pts Wine Spectator
“Firm in texture, this is supple underneath the tannins, pulsing with blueberry, currant, clove and crème brûlée flavors, persisting nicely on the slightly charred finish. Best from 2012 through 2015. 350 cases made.” –HS

2006 | 92pts Wine Spectator
“Supple, spicy and luxuriantly expressive, with tobacco, mineral and wet earth notes adding complexity and interest to the dark berry and tar flavors that linger beautifully on the fine-grained finish. Best from 2011 through 2016. 150 cases made.” –HS


2008 | Seattle Magazine
Among the judges’ five “Best Washington Reds” in the Grenache category.

2008 | 91pts Wine Spectator
“Aromatic, vibrant and distinctive for its red cherry, watermelon and pomegranate flavors, hinting at cedar and mineral as the finish persists impressively against refined tannins. Best from 2012 through 2016. 200 cases made.” –HS

The Swagger

2008 | 90pts Wine Spectator
“Jazzy, limber and focused, playing mint and tarragon notes against a core of currant and blackberry fruit. This all mingles neatly on the finish and lingers enticingly. Drink now through 2016. 300 cases made.” –HS

2007 | 91 pts Wine Enthusiast
“This Bordeaux blend is solidly in the Darby style, but bigger and fuller and rounder than the other wines, with lovely, plummy aromas that lead into mouth-filling blackberry, cassis and cherry fruit. The use of 75% new oak is not intrusive; it’s truly just an accent, and does not overtake the fruit.” –PG

2007 | 90pts Wine Spectator
“Plush and ripe, with spice and tomato leaf accents on top of the rich cherry and prune flavors. This has depth and distinctive character. Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Merlot. Best after 2012. 225 cases made.” –HS

Le Deuce

2008 | Seattle Magazine “Best Washington Whites”
“Newcomer to the wine scene, Woodinville-based Darby English is this year’s “Winemaker to Watch,” not in small part because in blind tastings his wines rise to the top. This lovely Rhone-style white is a blend of Viognier and Roussanne, with melon and white flowers on the nose; although these grapes are known for their low acidity, the citrus and spice on the palate add balance.”

Aunt Lee Syrah

2007 | 93pts Wine Spectator
“Smooth and polished, the flavors brimming with black olive and mineral character. Weaves a touch of licorice through the blackberry and plum fruit, finishing with elegance, without losing power. Drink now through 2017. 325 cases made.” –HS


2006 | 91pts Wine Spectator
“Supple, graceful and nicely focused to show off plush blueberry and currant fruit, supported by crisp acidity and fine tannins, all of it mingling harmoniously. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2016. 248 cases made.” –HS

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