My favorite Riojas usually are the more traditional renditions, but I also enjoy the ones that straddle the line between old-school and modern. The 2009 Bodegas Olarra Otonal Rioja Crianza ($15) is just such a wine, its lovely red fruit dancing deftly with Old World dustiness. This medium-bodied Spanish red (90 percent tempranillo, 5 percent apiece mazuelo and graciano) offers up a gorgeous nose layered with fruit, spice and flowers and follows up with juicy, just-ripe fruit and a long, friendly finish. It's uncommonly fresh for a wine of this age, making it a fitting summer red and a nice match for the grilled delights of the season (hard cheeses, too).
Available at all metro Lunds & Byerlys.