I really think you guys are missing the mark here recommending Rhones and Toros, etc. The palate of the OP currently likely prefers the profile of what's near him/her: California Cabs and Zins. Recommending that he/she go to something that is a significant change from what he/she said they like isn't good advice, IMO.
masilva48, I'd try Bevan Cellars. Good, big, easy-to-enjoy wines that I'd be you'd enjoy. Also, Bedrock makes some really great Zins that can be realtively easily sourced. I wouldn't call either of these marketly, "lesser-known," but they're good wines/wineries and you can find them. AND, the mostly won't break the bank.