Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Revisit the Magic: Sleight of Hand Cellars

This Spring Release in Walla Walla, make some time for a little hocus-pocus - Sleight of Hand Cellars. The beautiful labels will sweep you in, but it's the wine that will keep your attention. I recently had the pleasure of revisiting the wines of Sleight of Hand Cellars and without me going on with catchy and punny adverbs and adjectives, I'll keep it simple - - these wines by winemaker/co-partner Trey Busch just keep getting bigger and better. Seriously.

In 2009, Seattle Magazine listed Sleight of Hand Cellars as one of the next cult wines in the state of Washington. I can agree with that. These wines are alluring for their style and affordability, but of course you cannot help being attracted to the detailed and artistic labels that are reminiscent of vintage magic posters.

For every day sipping or casual dinners, you cannot go wrong with Sleight of Hand The Magician Gewurztraminer - 2007, The Magician Gewurztraminer - 2008 and The Spellbinder Red Blend - 2007. All three wines are priced under $20 and packaged with screw caps, screaming "Hellooo backyard and picnics!"

Gewurztraminers aren't always easy to find, but once you find them, it's a shame not to enjoy this aromatic white. The big fruits of the Magician, along with the level of acidity that Washington grapes are known for makes for a perfect pairing with Asian-influenced meals and also my favorite curry chicken salad.

The Spellbinder - 2007 is a blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 14% Sangiovese pops with flavors of dark fruits, licorice and cocoa. Can you say BBQ? Oh yeah. If you are serving food with grill marks, Spellbinder is a great pairing.

Levitation - 2007 is a 100% Syrah and when I revisited this wine it showed off all of the qualities I look for in a Syrah. Blueberries, smoke, bacon and coffee. Yeah, it's on my list of Sexy Syrahs. Revisit this wine and keep revisiting - that is if you can keep it around that long. It's definitely an age-worthy wine.

As I look through my tasting notes, I have a drawing I made of a big star next to The Archimage - 2007, a proprietors blend of 54% Merot and 46% Cabernet Franc plucked from the Walla Walla Valley. This wine could be Washington's answer to the red blends of St. Emilion. Really. It's an elegant wine and the Cabernet Franc really spoke to me.

Continuing down my tasting notes there is another star, but this time I accented the star with lines to represent "shines" as in shining star right beside The Illusionist - 2007. The Illusionist is a blend of 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 21% Cabernet Franc, 20% Malbec, 14% Petit Verdot, 6% Syrah and 4% Merlot. Complex and rich. It is definitely a red wine that will give you a cult ranking. Lucious dark fruits are showing through the tannins. And of course, another age-worthy wine.

Sleight of Hand Cellars will be releasing their popular and third vintage of The Magician’s Assistant 100% Cabernet Franc Rose' for Spring. A mouthful of crisp watermelons and a hint of strawberries on the nose, which is so traditional for a well made Cabernet Franc Rose'. It's a "pretty in pink" wine that will move as quick like a rabbit out of a top hat (groan - sorry, I had to get one last pun in there.)

So don't forget, when visiting Walla Walla Spring Release this week be sure and visit Sleight of Hand Cellars before all of their wines disappear - - right before your very eyes!

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