McPrice Myers’ ‘Blue Collar Series’ Blows Us Away!

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McPrice ‘Mac’ Myers has been crafting high-expression wines of balance, value, and place since 2002. A lifelong, self-proclaimed “food and wine geek,” Mac was a quick study and almost immediately had the press lauding his wines from near and far. His passion for unique sites in Paso Robles and California’s Central Coast, combined with his meticulous attention to detail in the cellar, results in stunning wines that more than live up to the hype.

In this post, we will share a bit of background with you on the Paso Robles region and McPrice Myers’s wines. Below, we also will share a recap of our recent tasting with Mac and, Assistant Winemaker, Adrian Perez, including some of Mac’s notes and other fun facts we’ve learned! Finally, to order these delicious bottles online, please see the links at the end of this post, and select your most convenient Wine Outlet location.

Paso Robles Wine Region

Many are familiar with Paso Robles as one of the fastest-growing wine regions in California. Since 2000, the area has become the home of over 200 wineries (starting at just 50 before 2000). Much of the growth comes from smaller family-owned producers, much like McPrice Myers Winery. This region is known as the industry’s wild west for the innovative spirit found at many of the wineries throughout. The town of Paso Robles, meaning ‘Pass of the oak’, was co-founded by outlaws who embodied that same diverse and wild spirit we see in the area’s wines today. While this area grows a wide variety of wines, it is most known for 5 mine categories: Zinfandel (including blends); Cabernet Sauvignon (also think Bordeaux-style blends) ; Rhone Blends (including Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Viognier); Cal-Italians (like Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, and Barbera); and non-traditional blends.

The diversity and innovation of each of the wines produced in this region are partly attributable to the environmental conditions of Paso Robles. With over 45 different soil types, both desert-like and normal-rainfall conditions at different points of the year, and elevation levels that vary from 700 to 2400 feet, the wide variety of grapes that can be produced here is incredible. McPrice Myers Winery sits right on the west side of this region in the Adelaida District.

Central Coast Wine: The Varieties and Regions | Wine Folly 

Map from: www.winefolly.com/deep-dive/central-coast-wine-the-varieties-regions-and-more/

 

McPrice Myers Winery 

McPrice “Mac” Myers has been making wine in Paso Robles since 2002. Mac’s relationships with renowned vineyards reach deep into Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara County, and result in Rhône-driven wines that are rich, diverse, and very expressive of the vineyard sites. Mac’s self-made success comes from years of working in retail with Trader Joe’s that made him extremely conscious of how important it is to “give as many people as possible the chance to drink great wine.” Not only do we support what Mac stands for, but he consistently produces wines that blow us so far away that we can’t wait to share them with everyone in the Virginia area! The winery itself is comprised of 5 different vineyards: Denner Vineyard; Larner Vineyard; Les Galets Vineyard; Luna Matta Vineyard; and Santa Barbara Highlands. Mac receives recognition from many of the big names in wine for the Blue Collar Series, as well as others:

“McPrice Myers continues to fashion character-filled, high quality, yet value-priced wines.” – Robert Parker

“Ridiculously good drinking for the money.” – Jeb Dunnuck

“Stunning wines that more than live up to the hype.” – Ian Cauble, Master Sommelier, Somm Select

“The top-notch Paso Robles-based winemaker, whose production has been steadily increasing over the last decade, is still flying under the radar of many wine lovers. I’m betting that will change as word gets out about Myers’ powerful yet elegant wines, many of which are based on fruit from some of Santa Barbara’s most acclaimed vineyards and which command quite reasonable prices given their quality. That’s especially the case with his Blue Collar Series bottlings, which Myers says are intentionally made to overdeliver price-wise and to bring as many customers as possible into his fold.” – Josh Raynolds, Vinous

Tasting Recap

From the Winemakers Themselves: Thoughts on their Hard Working Wines, California’s Central Coast, and Paso Robles

For many people who love wine, there is an ‘ah ha’ moment that leads you to this love. Whether you’re a connoisseur, sommelier, or just a casual wine drinker, a certain bottle or experience may trigger a desire to learn and drink more. This is no different for Mac Myers, though interestingly, his ‘ah ha’ moment came “the time I went into a wine cellar.” This happened when Mac took his first trip to the Paso Robles and Santa Barbara area, and the seed for his future as a prominent winemaker was planted. “Once I smelled a barrel room, once I saw them working in the fields, once I was rolling through the hills and tasting the wine…I mean that was it…that was my calling.”

Through years of work, Mac has provided us with many different bottles and vintages that resonate with our Wine Outlet community. For both he and his Assistant Winemaker, Adrian Perez, the Blue Collar series, or their “Hard Working Wines” are near and dear to their hearts. Mac takes many of his personal experiences and weaves them into his philosophy of winemaking in a way that is both relatable and powerful.

High on the Hog

With regard to the name ‘High on the Hog,’ Mac Myers says,“High on the Hog: it comes from every family outing, every family holiday dinner…and my grandmother would say that. That just meant to us that we were living our best lives…we’re having a good moment.”  Mac notes that wine itself is great, but wine “provides something to a moment.” Certainly, the juice in the bottle is important, but what makes an experience with wine powerful is who you’re with, what’s on the table, and everything that makes that moment a great one. Mac hopes that High on the Hog has provided some great moments for everyone who drinks it.

Right Hand Man

Right Hand Man has been Mac’s longest running wine out of this series, as it was first bottled in 2002. His idea was to blend Syrah plantings from both warm as well as cooler climates to have both a lush fruit quality from warmer locations and a more savory element from cooler areas of California’s Central Coast. “Everyone needs their right hand man. It’s there for you. It’s comforting,” and as Mac noted, it’s been there for him since his first days making wine. Adrian and Mac also emphasized the wine’s age-ability and how it can transform over time. With bottle age, Syrah can evolve to hold more bacon and meat flavors with additional savory elements, and Right Hand Man is no exception.

Pound for Pound

Moving onto Mac’s Pound for Pound Zinfandel, this wine is Mac’s “guilty pleasure,” and it’s easy to see why. For Mac, and many of us, Zinfandel is “Pound for Pound a variety that delivers.” Mac is particularly excited about the 2018 vintage, which does not need any additional varieties to make it “super dark, super fresh, ha[s] a lot of energy with high toned fruits with floral and even citrus notes…” When some of us think of Zinfandel, we may think the grape is too jammy or soft or lacking in acid, but Mac describes that because the western side of Paso Robles is cooler than the eastern side, Zinfandel, like his, that comes out of the West tends to retain that freshness and acidity that can often be lacking in Zinfandel from other areas. Not only does Mac provide us with a great description of his wine, but he also demonstrates the diversity of climate and growing conditions even within Paso Robles itself.

Bull by the Horns

Bull by the Horns also has a backstory, which Adrian elucidated. In the mid-2000’s Bull by the Horns began as “Barrel 27,” which also included some Tempranillo in the blend. So this was seen as a bit of an homage to the wines of Spain; however, Adrian describes how the name ‘Bull by the Horns’ extends to broader themes for the Paso Robles region. “Bull by the Horns thematically encapsulates all of what Paso Robles is. It’s the wild west…it’s rodeos, it’s cowboys, it’s tri-tips, and I think that’s what we’re trying to show with our Cabernet from Paso Robles – that spirit.” Mac added that Cabernet is the most widely planted grape in Paso, so he was actually taking the Bull by the Horns to get into a competitive market. With such a delicious wine, it’s clear to us that they have more than succeeded in both tackling this competitive Cab. market and representing the themes of the region.

The tie between a sense of place as well as personal experience is striking with Mac and Adrian, and we were honored to have their insight serve as an inspiration for how we think about and enjoy wine. Thank you to all of those who joined our tasting, and thank you to those who are yet to try their thoughtfully delicious wines.

Blue Collar Series Wines

“Hard-working, value-driven wines from Paso Robles and the Central Coast.”

High on the Hog (2017)

Our Price: $17.99,  Avg Market Price: $35.99

93 points from Wine Enthusiast

Pound for Pound (2018)

Our Price: $17.99,  Avg Market Price: $25.99

Right Hand Man (2017)

Our Price: $17.99,  Avg Market Price: $25.99

Bull by the Horns (2017)

Our Price: $17.99,  Avg Market Price: $25.99

90 points from Josh Raynolds of Vinous

 

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