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Come visit us at our tasting room at 1959 J.B. George Rd in Walla Walla. Our tasting room is open to the public 5 days a week from 11-5 onTHU-MON (and by appointment the other 2 days). Call 509-525-3661509-525-3661  for an appointment. 


June 2015 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.



2014 “The Magician’s Assistant” Cabernet Franc Rose’ (current release) – 89 points                                                                                               Sleight of Hand has fashioned a solid rose, the 2014 Cabernet Franc Rose The Magician's Assistant (100% Cabernet Franc aged in neutral oak), which has lots of sweet cherry fruits and dried-herb characteristics to go with a medium-bodied, fresh, crisp and refreshing style on the palate. One of the more complex, interesting roses out there, this is rock solid and well worth a look.

2014 “The Magician” Riesling (current release) – 89 points               Possessing 11 grams of residual sugar, the 2014 Riesling The Magician stays fresh and lively, with lots of lychee, green citrus and a touch of peach in its medium-bodied, racy and clean profile. It's downright gulpable and will be versatile on the dinner table. I'd drink it over the coming year or so while it's still vibrant and fruity.

2013 “The Enchantress” Chardonnay (current release) – 90 points      The 2013 Chardonnay The Enchantress is one of the few outstanding Chardonnay’s coming from Washington. It offers classic white peach, apple and citrus notes to go with a clean, crisp, nicely focused and refreshing style on the palate. Drink it over the coming 2-3 years.

2013 “The Spellbinder” Red Blend (current release) – 91 points Functioning as the second wine of The Conjuror, the 2013 The Spellbinder is a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot, yet also incorporates Syrah and other varieties. Aged 10 months in neutral oak, it has beautiful cassis, blackberry, spring flower, and lead pencil shaving nuances to go with a vibrant, forward, medium to full-bodied profile on the palate. It's straight up delicious and will drink nicely for 4-6 years. It's a killer value!

2013 “The Conjurer” Red Blend (current release) – 91 points               The 2013 The Conjurer is a smoking blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc and 15% Merlot that spent 11 months in 15% new French oak (some being larger oak tanks). It’s a beautiful wine with lots of dark fruits, charcoal, spring flowers and sappy herb-like aromatics. These give way to a medium to full-bodied, pure, elegant and fresh red that’s ideal for drinking over the coming 8-10 years. It’s a killer value

2012 “The Archimage” Red Blend (current release) – 93 points              The best vintage for this cuvee to date, there are 775 cases of the 2012 The Archimage (49% Cabernet Franc, 48% Merlot and the rest Cabernet Sauvignon). It offers classic blackcurrants, graphite, leafy herbs and hints of charred meats to go with a full-bodied, supple, layered and beautifully pure profile on the palate. Seeing 20 months in 39% new French oak, it has enough mid-palate depth and fine tannin on the finish to evolve for 10-15 years.

2012 “The Illusionist” Cabernet Sauvignon (current release) – 93 points                                                                                                           The Cabernet Sauvignon dominated 2012 The Illusionist, which incorporates 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot, is another straight-up brilliant effort from this team. Crème de cassis, smoked herbs, lead pencil shavings and hints of licorice all give way to a full-bodied, ripe, concentrated and balanced Cabernet that has the purity and texture to drink well in its youth, yet the class and depth to evolve for 15 years.


2013 “Levitation” Syrah (Fall 2015 wine club release) – 93+ points     More focused, straight and elegant than The Psychedelic release, the 2013 Syrah Levitation is a more classically styled Syrah that offers pretty violet, smoked black fruits, earth and hints of chocolate. Full-bodied, ripe, layered and balanced, I like its mid-palate depth and it should age gracefully. Give it a year or two in the cellar and enjoy bottles through 2025.

2013 “The Sorceress” Grenache  (Fall 2015 wine club release) – 92 points                                                                                                           Trey continues to be a jack-of-all-trades and excels with just about every variety, even the more temperamental Grenache. His 2013 Grenache The Sorceress, which incorporates 20% Syrah, exhibits impressive blackberry, kirsch, damp earth, truffle and peppery notes, medium to full-bodied, richness, and a supple, sexy personality. Aged 11 months in 20% new French oak, it’s one of the best examples of this cuvee to date, and will drink nicely for another 7-8 years.

 2013 “The Psychedelic” Syrah (Fall 2015 release) – 94 points                 A blend of 100% Syrah, the 2013 Syrah The Psychedelic is a sensational effort that comes all from the Stoney Vine Vineyard in Walla Walla, which is in the Rock region. It offers lots of mulled black fruits, olive, smoked duck and lavender nuances to go with a full-bodied, big, ripe, hedonistic personality that never comes across as over the top or heavy. Replacing the Funkadelic release, enjoy this beauty through 2023.

2013 “The Archimage” Red Blend (barrel sample) – 91-93 points          The Cabernet Franc dominated 2013 The Archimage will certainly be an outstanding wine. It has classic black and blue fruits, flowers and dried-herb characteristics, medium to full-bodied richness and nicely integrated acidity. Fresh, lively and balanced, it's a beautiful barrel sample that will have a decade of prime drinking.

2013 “The Illusionist” Cabernet Sauvignon (barrel sample) – 92-94 points                                                                                                        There's roughly 900 cases of the 2013 The Illusionist, and it's a blend of 89% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc and the rest Petit Verdot. It offer lots of cassis, graphite, lead pencil shavings and a touch of herbs in a full-bodied, elegant, beautifully ripe profile. Coming mostly from Blue Mountain Vineyard in Walla Walla, Red Mountain Vineyard in Red Mountain, and Scooteney Flats Vineyard (also in Red Mountain), it's still aging in 60% new French oak and is scheduled to be bottled in late June of this year. Given the purity and depth of fruit, I expect it to drink nicely on release, but it will have an easy 15+ years of overall longevity as well.

2013 Scooteney Flats Vineyard Malbec (barrel sample) – 93-95 points One of the most impressive Malbecs I was able to taste for this report, the 2013 Malbec Scooteney Flats (the final name is still TBD) comes all from the Scooteney Flats vineyard on Red Mountain and will see 50% new oak and bottling only in magnum. It's inky purple color is followed by drop-dead gorgeous notes of black and blue fruits, liquid violets, crushed rock and graphite. This is followed by a layered, full-bodied red that has fabulous concentration, building, sweet tannin and a great finish. It's showing its oak elevage at the moment, but I expect this to completely integrate by the time it's in bottle. Bravo to the team here for a rockin' bottle of wine!


Trey, Jerry, Sandy, Keith, Erin, and Traci



Sleight of Hand Cellars named by Seattle Magazine as one of the "Next Cult Wineries of Washington State"! Read about it here.


Parker, Spectator, Enthusiast, Wine and Spirits, and Tanzer Scores for current and past releases are here.

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