With a pick-up pasta last night — onion, garlic, country ham, diced tomatoes — I opened a bottle of Coto de Hayas Garnacha Syrah 2009, from the Campo de Borja region of Spain. The producer, Bodegas Aragonesas, is located in the foothills of the Sierra Moncayo in Zaragoza, where the dry, hot climate and the extreme temperature contrasts between day and night make the perfect site for the garnacha (grenache) grape, which has been cultivated there for eight centuries. This is one of those wines that you start by characterizing as “little” — “what a nice little wine” — as if it were nothing more than pleasing, undemanding and even perhaps a bit innocuous. Just so, Coto de Hayas Garnacha Syrah 2009 inspired me to jot down the words, “bright, vivid, fruity, tasty.” And that would have been fine as far as it goes, except that as the moments elapsed this little wine took on detail and dimension surpassing its supposed station in life. We get red and black currants. dusty plums and warm meadowy lavender; potpourri and baking spice; leather, wild berries, brambles. The texture is moderately dense, slightly chewy and swathed with plush tannins packed with slate-like minerals and rooty earthiness. Yeah, see what I mean? A great pasta and pizza wine to drink through 2012. The alcohol content is 13.5 percent. Very Good+. About $8, a Wonderful Bargain. Sadly, most of the red wines we try from California at this price feel manufactured and anonymous; this, on the other hand is lively and individual.

Scoperta Importing Co., Cleveland Heights, Ohio. A sample for review.