Black grape variety originally used in the classic Bordeaux blends. However due to its propensity to ripen a lot later than the other varieties, it became less popular. When this variety does achieve optimal ripeness it can make an opulent, spicy wine, which has proven valuable as a blending component in the Médoc.
In Australia it performs extremely well and makes a high quality single varietal wine, where especially fine examples are cultivated in the Riverland region. It is also grown in California mainly in Napa and Sonoma. It is found in Chile and in Argentina, but here it is more likely to be the Gros Verdot variety. In terms of style, a young wine can exhibit banana aromas, whereas a more aged wine might express leather and violet.