El Bombero Red Wine Review

This wine, El Bombero from Spain, is a complex red.  I received this wine as part of my WSJ Wine Club club order and it is one of their customer favorites according to the tasting notes.

El Bombero comes from 60 year old low yielding Garnacha vines.  Alcohol content of El Bombero 2011 is 15% by volume, which is comparatively higher than many of the red wines I’ve previously reviewed.

Per the club tasting notes, “El Bombero offers an ancient wine power and silky richness usually associated with pricier regions.”  Also, this wine comes from Spain’s northeastern region of Aragon and is reported to be “home to some of the best value reds in Spain, if not the world.”

For this review I tasted the 2011 vintage of this wine.

El Bombero Red Wine Tasting

El Bombero Red WineTo start, the appearance of this wine was a deep plum color and had a purple ring evident around the rim of the wine in the glass.  Most notable were the legs.  Of the 50 reviews I’ve done so far, this wine was (by far) the most leggy wine I’ve seen.  The wine actually had two sets of legs.  The first set fell shortly after swirling the wine in the glass.  There were many and they were thick.  Very slow to fall.  After about 20 seconds or so, another set of legs started to descend from the same level in the glass and they were also slow to fall.  Very interesting!

Aroma of the El Bombero was immediately noticed after removing the cork.  It was strong and very aromatic.  I would describe it as organic and earthy with notes of dark berries and a hint of spice.  Also, the wine’s 15% alcohol content by volume was very evident and presented as a notable sting in the nose.

That’s a whole lot going on and we haven’t even tasted the wine yet!

On to the taste.  On the palate the wine was warm, dry and unique.  Flavors were of more dark berries and just a little earthy spice.  Truthfully, given the heaviness I was expecting from the legs and aroma, I was surprised at how delicate the taste was.  I was expecting to be knocked over by fruit but was rewarded with restraint in the wine’s flavors.

Tannins were pert and present.  I noticed them all over, but a little more so in the cheeks and on the tongue.  A little bit of a wool like mouthfeel, but not off putting.

The El Bombero finished long and the alcohol was unexpectedly muted, which was good.

Overall I really enjoyed this wine and am looking forward to more experiences with Spanish Garnacha.  I’m pleased it was included as part of my order.  One of the things I did while tasting this wine was to take in the aroma while swirling the wine in my mouth.  This resulted in a very complex and layered tasting experience that was truly enjoyable.  Also, I noticed that this wine softened quite a bit after a few minutes of air.  This would probably be a great wine to decant before drinking.

Lastly, I think this is the perfect wine for someone who likes to pick apart and analyze the different elements in wine.  This wine makes it easy to do so.  Highly Recommend!

For more information about the club, check out my review of the Wall Street Journal Wine Club which I joined.  Includes price, Pros and Cons and actual pictures of what I received.


    1. Hi JL… Thanks for the question. To be honest, I haven’t had the opportunity to try the 2012 yet and don’t have a bottle in house. But if I do get a chance to try it, I’ll update the post. Let us know if you get to it first!

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