Sleight of Hand Cellars delivers simply magical wines

We all covet Cayuse and love Leonetti, but who can get them? Now is the time to start collecting the bottles that will be the next big thing.  Sleight of Hand cellars is on our short list of wineries to watch.

Delicious wines are a joy on their own, but combine the highest quality wines with extremely limited supplies and the mix becomes irresistible. California has Screaming Eagle, Harlan, Colgin, and a host of other wines that have developed a cult-like following. And though Washington trails California in this regard, there are still a handful of wines whose quality and scarcity are the stuff of legend. 

What really characterizes a ‘cult’ wine is a supply that is greatly exceeded by demand, but often these are wines for which nothing is allowed to interfere with the owner or winemakers vision. No expense is spared, whether for equipment, grapes- or even fabulous art in the winery (to inspire the grapes perhaps?). It is often the intensity of that vision, more that the limited availability of the wine itself, that makes such wines truly alluring. But you won’t find these seductive wines at the corner store; most are rarely-if ever- available from retailers. Instead, buyers must sign up on the winery’s mailing list (or the waiting list to be on the mailing list).

Instead of waiting to get your hands on those coveted cult labels, start collecting the bottles that will be the next big thing. A winery we’ve got our eye on is Sleight of Hand Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. Sleight of Hand has become somewhat of a cult winery in Washington, with the demand for their wines starting to outweigh production. It’s good to be them! The quality of these tiny production wines is simply mind boggling compared the price and the wines are selling out within weeks of release. You might be thinking this is some sort of illusion, but there’s not magic trick here; just great wines at amazing prices. Get these wines while you can, before they disappear before your eyes!

Sleight of Hand Cellars the next big thing in Washington wines

The name, in turn, inspired the names and labels for the rest of the Sleight of Hand Cellars line-up, all of which invoke vintage magic show posters from the 20s and 30s. While the Magician (Gewurztraminer) and The Spellbinder (a Bordeaux- style blend) are much sought after glass pours at restaurants because of their reasonable prices and high quality, it is the three top reds made in tiny quantities that are selling out within weeks of release, that are getting wine collectors all hot and bothered. Levitation (100% Syrah), Archimage (Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend) and The Illusionist (A Cabernet based bend) are made in tiny quantities from exceptional vineyards.

When you think of wine, Pearl Jam is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Well, if you’re a fan of this place, then you might! Yep, Sleight of Hand Cellars gets its name from winemaker/co-owner Trey Busch’s favorite Pearl Jam song, Sleight of Hand (off the Binaural album). He started the winery with partners Jerry and Sandy Solomon in 2007 after a chance meeting at an auction.Winemaker Trey Busch is a huge fan of the band (evidently the tasting room in Walla Walla has quite a record collection) and felt the idea of the song, which talks about a guy going through the motions of life until he breaks out of the rut was the perfect fit for his own story. 

The tasting room itself is cool and funky, decorated with an old jukebox, several hundred records (they take music requests!) and swag inspired by rock albums. The winery also has a magic theme, which came about from the name, naturally, and  the imagery of vintage magic posters which inspired the labels and names of the wines. It’s easy to see that the tasting room has a fun vibe and, although they make serious wines, the owners don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. Yes, there’s even a bottle called The Conjurer with Neil Patrick Harris’ face on it (he’s a wine club member). Behind these playful names and labels are some pretty serious wines with the scores to match, with many wines in the lineup receiving 94 points or more from the Wine Advocate. 

“TREY BUSCH AND TEAM CONTINUE TO SHOW THEIR WINE MAKING TALENT WITH THESE LATEST RELEASES, AND I WAS IMPRESSED WITH THE ENTIRE LINEUP. DON’T LET THE WHIMSICAL NAMES FOOL YOU, THESE ARE TOP-NOTCH WINES. IN ADDITION, THERE’S SOME KILLER VALUE HERE AS WELL.” Jeb Dunnuck

Current Releases from Sleight of Hand Cellars

2016 Enchantress Chardonnay

2016 Spellbinder Red Blend 

2016 Conjurer Red Blend 

2014 Archimage Reserve Blend 

2014 Illusionist Reserve Cabernet  

2015 Sorceress Grenache/Syrah