The Satis Dei Syrah-Garnacha 2016 is an $8.99 Trader Joe’s import wine, though I think it is available in other parts of the world from different retailers. The Satis Dei is 55% Syrah and 45% Garnacha and is a Tierra de Castilla designated wine (the same as a IGP or Vin de Pays wine) in the Castilla/La Mancha region of central Spain (just south of Madrid). Tierra de Castilla is one step below a DO designated wine, it has less stringent rules, regulation and boundaries. There is one thing that stands out about this Red blend, it has the fanciest packaging I can recall seeing for a sub-$10 wine. It has an artist designed two part raised printed label with matching foil cap, the bottom half of the bottle is embossed and the bottle weighs more than a $75 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The Napa Cab bottle is heavy-duty because the wine will probably be cellared and they want a sturdy container for the long haul, this is a $8.99 TJ’s wine that has to shipped from Spain, heavy bottles cost more to ship. The packaging is impressive, if you need a $8.99 wine that’s dressed as a $30 wine then the Satis Dei fits the bill. This is a young wine with no oak aging, which is fine since Garnacha does very well without oak. Garnacha can be sleek and dense and Syrah can be plump, juicy, and a bit spicy, the 2 grapes fit together nicely, each adding something the other does not have. The alcohol content is 14%.
The color is seriously dark purple with all sorts of black highlights. The nose is dark berries, a little menthol (too much menthol is a wine fault, a little bit just adds character), chocolate, a whiff of smoke, strawberry, and a savory scent. This is a wine with solid tannins and structure first and fruit flavors second. It tastes of extracted blackberry, softer blueberry, licorice, along with soft spice. The mid-palate brings orange zest, black pepper, and a late hit the black cherry. This is a food wine, it drinks fine on its own, but it would really find its balance with comfort foods such as tacos or burritos. The finish isn’t all that interesting and slowly fades away.
I like the Satis Dei Syrah-Garnacha 2016, most sub-ten buck wines will do ok as food wines, but really are more designed for sipping, the Satis Dei thinks it is a more expensive bottle wine and it really wants a place at the dinner table. It does drink well and the more it opens up the tastier it gets, but if you pair this with something savory and spicy, I think you will have a fine combination.