There was an interesting article on Decanter.com yesterday about the lack of representation of Californian wines in UK merchants. According to one independent wine merchant, California has few mid-range wines and does not offer good value for money.
Well I'm not sure what exactly they define "mid range" to be, but I can think of at least one larger sized Californian producer that offers good value for money: Clos LaChance. Their "Hummingbird" range is readily available in many supermarkets round here. The official retail prices are in the $15-$20 range, but they can often be found for less, particularly in supermarkets. I recently noticed a promotion in my local Safeway on the 2005 Syrah - reduced from $20 to $10, with an additional 10% off for mixed half cases. At that price who can refuse?
This is a lovely, dark, new world Syrah. On the nose we noticed oak and eucalyptus; on the palate lots of black fruits and a hint of coffee. As time went by the tannins became more pronounced. At $9 a bottle this is a screaming bargain; the promotion lasts until March 11th at larger stores.