Welcome Back!Sign in here:

Not Registered?Become one of our thirsty clan 261,777 strong:

Register Today!

Want the secret to buying great wine?

286,783Wine Reviews
30Seconds to join

Henry of Pelham Winery Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012 Wine Review

Henry of Pelham Winery Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012

Henry of Pelham Winery Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012

Niagara Escarpment, Ontario VQA, Canada

Community Score:91/100

Community Reviews: 11

  Add My Review

Price: $39.95

Drink: 2016-2023

Bottle size: 750 ml

Alcohol: 14%

Sweetness: Dry

Wine Type: Red Wine

Winery: Henry of Pelham Winery

Agent: Henry Of Pelham Family Est. Winery

Natalie's Score: 93/100

Definitely more Bach than Beethoven in this Niagara red wine blend of Cabernet and Merlot grapes from a spectacular vintage. Aromas of deep, dark cassis and blackcurrant. Needs cellar time and 1-2 hours decanting. Pair with rare steak.

Cabernet Merlot food pairings: braised lamb shanks with rosemary and roasted garlic accents, good quality chocolate.

Best Beef Wine

This Henry of Pelham Winery Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012 was reviewed on February 6, 2017 by Natalie MacLean

More Vintages: 2010  2007 

  Add New Vintage

Pricing & Stock Information

Fredericton - rue Prospect Street8 Add
Dieppe - rue Regis Street3 Add
Moncton - boul. Vaughan Harvey Blvd.1 Add
See More Edit

Reviews and Ratings

Heather Wall - CS; WSET Advanced rated this wine as 93/100 with the following review:

We are bordering on Bordeaux greatness with this Ontario blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Nestled in the embrace of the Niagara Escarpment in the 20 Valley sits Henry of Pelham winery. The Speck brothers carry on the traditions, innovations and craftsmanship that have helped propel Niagara's winemaking industry. This wine has layers of red and black fruit, sweet baking spices, tinged cedar, graphite, sweet cigar box. The length is long on a tannic and smoky finish. Tannins are youthful and suggest decanting at least 2 hours. There's years of cellar potential in this wine and makes a perfect gift for a collector. Pair with finer cuts of beef, rare to medium-rare.
Tasted: #TasteOntario16 #Ottawa March 2016
Matt Steeves - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 92/100 with the following review:

A stellar Cab-Merlot blend from a storied Canadian winery, Henry of Pelham. The nose is rich and warm, with sweet baking spices wrapped-up with a cozy and stylish scarf of ripe dark fruits. Full bodied, with grippy tannins, sweet dark fruit and baking spices linger on the long finish. A fantastic wine that's drinking beautifully now and will continue to evolve over the better part of the next decade. Would make a great gift, especially for those that appreciate fine Ontario wine! Tasted October 2015. 92 points. Matt Steeves - www.quercusvino.ca
Tania Thomas - CSW, WSET ADV rated this wine as 92/100 with the following review:

Crafted with a hand-picked blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes grown in the Niagara’s Short Hills Bench vineyards. Deep and rich with layers of big, dark fruit; ripe black cherries and blackberries on the palate, cedary overtones and a long, lingering vanilla and smoke-tinged finish. Beautifully integrated oak and firm tannins with great structure and refinement, this wine will improve with up to a decade of cellaring. A fine choice for a slowly roasted leg of lamb.
Terry Jeans - Certified S rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:

A full-bodied wine, with thick tannins, and ripe fruit notes on the palette and the nose. Rich and textured, with medium acidity make this a delicious food wine for thick steaks and strong cheeses. Worth keeping a few years.
Jennifer Havers - WSET Level 3 rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:

A Bordeaux-style blend that will be lovely for years to come. If enjoying now, decant for an hour or two to fully appreciate. Aromas are rich, deep berries and currant, smoke and warm spices. Fruit and spice mingles with oak and cedar on the palate. Full bodied, grippy tannin and a long finish. Perfect with a medium-rare steak. (March 2016)
Jon Steeves - Sommelier rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:

A wonderful inky ruby red gem blend. This wine offers a robust and complex full bodied aromatic profile of dark red and black berry fruit, baking spice and dark chocolate. Grippy mouthfeel with developing tannins. Pair with rare BBQ beef. Tasted at 4 years of age, would recommend enjoying 2018-2023. Tasted Oct 2016 - @jonsteeves rated 91/100
Jane Staples - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:

This Cab-Merlot blend is nearly 50-50 Cab Sauv and Merlot, with a dash of Cab Franc, made from hand-picked grapes harvested from the oldest Speck Family Estate vineyards. From restricted low-yield vines, resulting in concentrated flavours and rich aromatics. 20 mos. aging in French oak. Shows intense, perfumed dark berry aromas with sweet spice and juicy black raspberry predominating on the velvety palate and a lingering elegant finish.
Enjoy with rack of lamb or with chocolate cake for a rich dessert combo.
Tasted Jan. 2017
Pamela Chiles rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:

My fellow reviewers have said it all - this is a truly fabulous Cab-Merlot. Put a few aside for special occasions and to enjoy in a couple years.
Sean O'Regan - Certified Sommelier rated this wine as 90/100 with the following review:

Deep ruby, the nose displays red currant, berry, toasty oak, spice and herb notes. Medium full body, the palate repeating the nose along with cedar and graphite. Lifted acidity and firm grippy tannins suggest that this has many years of life ahead. Rare steaks now or a savory beef stew in 5+ years.
Tasted Oct 2015
Rachelle O'Connor rated this wine as 89/100 with the following review:

Lots of ripe fruit on the nose, blackberry, cherry and vanilla on the palate with a touch of smokiness. Very well balanced, this wine would likely be even better with a few years of cellaring.

If you liked the Henry of Pelham Winery Speck Family Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2012, you might also like these wines:




Know the wines you want before you even get to the store with my wine reviews. Join now. It's free.

Wine of the Week

As featured on  

CTV Wine of the Week!

La Chablisienne White Wine
Chablis 2015,
Burgundy A.C. ...

Natalie MacLean

Canada's Most Quoted Wine Writer

Natalie MacLean is editor of Canada's largest wine review web site, publishing hundreds of wine reviews every week for more than 261,777 members.

She was named the World's Best Drinks Writer at the World Food Media Awards in Australia.

Natalie has published two books with Random House, the second was named one of Amazon's Best Books of the Year. Get access to all of her reviews today by becoming a member of her site.

Red, White & Drunk All Over

  Best Books of the Year

Red, White & Drunk all over by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean writes about wine with a sensuous obsession... and often laugh-out-loud funny... Terrific.

Rex Pickett, Sideways

Ms. MacLean is the disarming Everywoman. She loves wine, loves drinking ... ultimately, it's a winning formula.

Eric Asimov, The New York Times


Access my reviews on mobile with the bar code scanner.


Unquenchable: A Tipsy Search

  Best Books of the Year

Unquenchable by Natalie MacLean

Natalie MacLean is a new force in the wine writing world ‐ a fiesty North American answer to Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson. She can write beautifully about wine.

The Financial Times of London

There are very few people in the wine world who "get it" and Natalie is one of those who brings more fun to a buttoned-up and stodgy game.

Gary Vaynerchuck, Wine Library TV

Starting a Wine Cellar?

Expert advice for all budgets

Insider tips on starting a wine cellar
From wine racks to underground caves, insider tips on size and space, number of bottles, ideal conditions and reputable resources.   learn more  
Winner World's Best Drink Writer
Four-Time Winner James Beard Foundation
Five-Time Winner Association of Food Journalists
Six-Time Winner Bert Greene Award
Best Wine Literature Book Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Online Writer of the Year Louis Roederer International Wine Writing Award