I'd like to buy a bottle of good California or Australian Syrah for my brother in law in the $25 range. He seems to prefer California Syrahs, and buys them and Australian Syrahs seemingly haphazardly, and seems to equate price with taste and quality.
I drink mostly reds from the Rhone Valley and surrounding areas, which often (usually) have Syrah in the blend, but I am not familiar with California Syrahs even though I live in California. I will add that I was recently in the Santa Ynez Valley and tasted a couple of Syrahs which were very young, and difficult for me to judge, other than to think they were not very good.
There must be some available for around $25. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
If you can locate the Biale, Hill Climber Syrahs, that would be my first choice. Not sure if they are in your price-points, but should be close.
Don't know where you live so I don't know what selection is available.
Syrahs I like from California in that price range include:
A Donkey and A Goat
Edmunds St. John.
For a few bucks more, Ridge sells library wines out of their locations in Geyserville and the Santa Cruz Mountains. And the 2005 Pelerin Syrah Les Violettes for about $35 is maybe the best California Syrah I've had.
Edmunds St. John and A Donkey and a Goat are probably the most European like.
I am also partial to the Novy, which in their basic style can be had for $25. I am also pretty partial to the Unti. Both it and the Novy are "big" as CA Syrahs tend to be but I think have a certain rusticity that keeps them from being ridiculous.
If ridiculous is the goal, more of the Santa Barbara wineries seem to be doing insanely high-alcohol, extracted Syrahs (some, not all).
I can't speak specifically to their Syrah (although I've had it, I can't recall the last time I did) but Kokomo Winery in Dry Creek is a small producer that makes some very fine zins, syrahs etc. that are in the right price range and not ridiculous.
Try Stolpman Hilltops Syrah. This is one of the best from California. It's a little more expensive than your budget range - typically retails for $35-45, but well worth it.
There's a little know producer from Bennett Valley that's just great; Baldassari Family Wines...two Syrah's, both outstanding