Home > Varietals > Nerello Mascalese > Colorino
As you might expect from its name, the primary thing Colorino brings to the table is deep color, which it is able to impart even at such small concentrations. Its contribution to the Chianti blend has been compared to that of Petit Verdot in Bordeaux.Colorino has long been valued for its contribution to the Chianti blend, especially for those producer utilized the governo method.
In The governo method some of the grapes were not fermented with the others, instead they were left to dry out for months before being pressed in mid to late November. This concentrated juice was then added to the vats of juice that had just finished its primary alcoholic fermentation, which caused the fermentation to start up again. The main reason for this practice was that this second fermentation often kicked off malolactic fermentation, which, in the days before bacterial inoculation, was not so easy to start in a wine made from a high-acid variety like Sangiovese.


Colorino Grapes
The governo process made the wines drinkable much earlier and was more heavily used when Chianti was seen as an easy-drinking, every day kind of wine. With the more recent focus on quality and creating age-worthy red wines, the governo process has fallen out of favor. Colorino continues to be used in the Chianti blend, though, for its ability to lend color to the final wine, and for a time, its popularity began to rise as many producers fought against the increasing presence of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in Tuscan vineyards and wines, though the gradual acceptance of the international varieties in Tuscany has caused its popularity to wane once more.

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