Trey Busch moved to Walla Walla in 2000, leaving behind a job in sales at Nordstrom in Seattle. He quickly landed work at Dunham Cellars, an acclaimed winery where he was able to learn his craft while on the job. Hard work paid off quickly, as he was offered the position of head winemaker for nearby Basel Cellars in 2002. By 2007, he went out on his own, launching Sleight of Hand Cellars with partners Jerry and Sandy Solomon. He came up with the name from the song Sleight of Hand, which appeared on the Pearl Jam album Binaural.
The Illusionist is Sleight of Hand’s reserve selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, comprised of estate fruit from Walla Walla, Red Mountain, and Horse Heaven Hills AVAs. It is 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Petit Verdot. It has a Pauillac-like nose of pencil shavings, cigar box, cedar, blackcurrant, and toasty vanilla from 64% new oak. The palate is dense and muscular, with very fine, powdery tannins, spicy mocha and blackberry flavours, finishing with cigar smoke and floral notes.