This is a very successful blend in the Hasting River. The resulting wines are soft and quite fleshy, with abundant berry and earth flavours. Merlot, too, can be successfully made as a single varietal, though it is sometimes seen as a cross-regional blend.
Intensely purple in colour, the flavour of Chambourcin is pronounced. In its youth, it falls into the black cherry and plum range with occasional slight spicy and gamey overlays. As a young, fresh wine it is among the best examples of hybrids produced anywhere in the world.
Chardonnay dominates plantings in the Hastings River and does well. The style is not unlike that of the Hunter: rich and generous in the peach and tropical fruit spectrum. It lends itself to manipulation in the winery and to the use of oak to add complexity and depth. As might be expected, it matures relatively quickly but the wines from drier vintages can hold their peak for several years.
The thin skins and large berries of Semillon are especially vulnerable to the effects of vintage rain. As in the Hunter, the saving grace is the unusual ability of the Semillon to produce excellent wine at lower than usual sugar (and hence alcohol) levels of around 10 degrees Baumé. Thus early picking is important to ensure a high quality wine.