Washington Wine Club – May 2016

2012 Darby Winery, Mourvedre, $45

Winery info: Former West Seattle resident Darby English started his Woodinville winery in 2005 with just eight barrels of Syrah. In our shop, he is most well known for his “Purple Haze,” a Bordeaux blend that’s a great value that sells out very quickly. While his early wines were bolder and more fruity, he has moved on to a more mature and nuanced style, particularly with the wines of the 2011 vintage.

Winemaker: Darby English, who started making wine in his basement in 2001.

Grapes: 100% Mourvedre, aged for 18 months in French oak barrels, 20% of them new.

Vineyard sources: Stillwater Creek Vineyard in the Frenchman Hills.

Flavor profile: Velvety, round, and dark, with a layer of cracked pepper over the core of plush plum. Meaty and earthy flavors are balanced with the sweet herbs and dark fruit characteristic of the grape. This is Darby’s favorite wine, and probably his best one. (We also put his 2009 Mourvedre in the club.)

Production/Availability: Only 125 cases made, but it was just released and so more is available at this point.

Drinkability: This wine is drinking great now, though you certainly could let age it for five to seven years if you wanted to.

Food Pairing: Darby recommends drinking it with a nice flank or pepper steak.

2012 Owen Roe, Yakima Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $42

Winery info: David O’Reilly founded Sineann Winery in Oregon together with his friend Peter Rosback in 1994. O’Reilly then went on to start Owen Roe not long after that, releasing his first vintage in 1999. We’ve long carried many of his wines, including the Abbot’s Table blend, the DuBrul Cabernet, Yakima Valley Red, and Ex Umbris Syrah, as well as whites and his Oregon Pinot Noir.

Winemaker: David O’Reilly, born and raised in Northern Ireland.

Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Vineyard source: Sourced from old vine plots, planted as early as 1973, in DuBrul, Elerding, Outlook, Red Willow and Union Gap vineyards.

Flavor profile: Lovely aromas of red plum, black pepper, and baking spices, with very fine tannins and flavors of dark berry, toast, and a touch of vanilla. Classic, very elegant Washington Cabernet.

Production/Availability: 800 cases produced. This one should be in good supply for a while.

Drinkability: As with other top wines from the warm 2012 vintage, this Cab is drinking beautifully now but could continue to develop for another five years.

Food Pairing: With its solid structure and smooth tannins, this would be great with red meat dishes or other robust fare.