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
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.