Whether blended with Merlot or not, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be finer and more elegant than that of either the Margaret River or the Mount Barker regions, with lingering, soft fine-grained tannins. However, the spread of plantings inland from the coast has resulted in more diverse styles.
Sauvignon Blanc is propagated everywhere in the region, producing wines which reflect the varying site climate. The cooler sites produce wines with intense citrus and grass characters, while the warmer sites veer through melon and guava fruits. All are great now drinking wines.
It comes as no surprise to find that Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon tie as the second most widely planted varieties in this region, a tribute to the popularity of this crisp white. It produces a tangy wine with grassy herbal overtones; a light touch of oak is an optional extra.
The Shiraz is the most important grape, usually presented as a varietal wine but also used in blends. The styles vary substantially, from the robust to softer and more elegant styles, but each with a core of cherry and mint fruit.