Super Tuscan Vs. Cabernet Sauvignon, What’s The Difference?

When it comes to wine, there are certain characteristics that many consumers search for. Dry red wines are a popular choice, and two types of wines that share this characteristic are Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Super Tuscan Vs. Cabernet Sauvignon

Super Tuscans are renowned for their use of grape blends. They are a mix of both Italian and international grape varieties that together create a unique taste.

Although there is no strict definition of what makes a Super Tuscan, they are known for their high-quality, full-bodied taste. Cabernet Sauvignon often plays a role in Super Tuscan blends, as it is a grape variety that is widely grown in Tuscany.

Similarly, Cabernet Sauvignon is a red grape variety that is also known for producing full-bodied, dry red wines.

It is grown in wine regions all over the world, with notable examples from Bordeaux, California, and Australia. Its popularity in Super Tuscan wine blends highlights the common characteristics it shares with the Italian wines.

What Is The Difference Between Super Tuscan Vs. Cabernet Sauvignon?

One of the main differences between Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon is their respective blends. Super Tuscan wines are known for their unique blends of both Italian and international grape varieties.

In contrast, Cabernet Sauvignon is a single varietal wine, made solely from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

This gives Cabernet Sauvignon a more distinct and consistent flavor profile compared to the more varied blends found in Super Tuscan wines.

Another difference between the two is their DOC status and legal definitions.

DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) is a quality assurance label in Italy that certifies the authenticity and origin of a wine. Cabernet Sauvignon meets DOC standards and has a legal definition. 

Super Tuscan, on the other hand, does not meet DOC standards and is not legally defined.

Rather, it is a category of wine created by Tuscan producers who wanted to experiment with different grape varieties and blends outside the strict DOC regulations.

Because of this lack of legal definition and adherence to DOC standards, Super Tuscan wines have often been viewed as lower-quality or table wines compared to Cabernet Sauvignon and other wines with higher pedigrees. However, this is changing as more Super Tuscan wines gain international recognition and acclaim.

It is also worth noting that while Cabernet Sauvignon is a specific wine, Super Tuscan is not. Rather, it is a category of wine that can include Cabernet Sauvignon in its blend.

This means that while Cabernet Sauvignon is a standalone wine, Super Tuscan is a broader concept that encompasses a variety of wines with different blends and styles.

Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon differ in terms of sweetness and dryness in various ways.

Super Tuscan wines can vary in sweetness depending on their blend compositions, which can include non-traditional grape varieties like Syrah or Shiraz.

As a result, some Super Tuscans can be considered sweet compared to other traditional Tuscan wines.

On the other hand, Cabernet Sauvignon usually has a dry finish due to its high tannin content and reliance on black currant flavors.

Cabernet Sauvignon’s taste is consistent across vintages and regions, owing to its mono-varietal production method. Cabernet Sauvignon grapes have a thick skin with high tannins, resulting in a dry wine with a long finish.

Furthermore, Cabernet Sauvignon typically has more tannins than Super Tuscans, contributing to its dryness.

Tannins are organic compounds that come from the skins, stems, and seeds of grapes. Higher tannin content in wine results in a dry, astringent feeling in the mouth.

Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

When it comes to alcohol content, Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to have similar levels, with very little difference between the two.

However, it is worth noting that Cabernet Sauvignon can sometimes have a slightly higher alcohol content, although this is not typical, especially in Italian versions.

In general, the alcohol content of Super Tuscan wines varies depending on the producer and the specific blend of grape varieties used.

However, most Super Tuscans fall within the standard range for European wines, which is around 12-15% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, is often associated with California wines, which tend to have a higher ABV than their European counterparts.

In California, Cabernet Sauvignon can reach as high as 14-16% ABV, although this is not always the case. In Italy, Cabernet Sauvignons tend to be more restrained and fall within the same alcohol range as Super Tuscans.

How Do I Choose Between Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon?

When it comes to choosing between Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon, it depends on your specific taste preferences. Both wines have their own unique flavor profiles that can provide a unique tasting experience. 

If you’re looking for a wine with bold flavor and complexity, Cabernet Sauvignon is the ideal choice. Its high tannin content will give you a dry finish with a long-lasting flavor.

On the other hand, if you prefer something with more fruit and sweetness, Super Tuscan is the way to go. It will provide a unique blend of flavors that are not found in other wines.


Ultimately, the decision between Super Tuscan and Cabernet Sauvignon will come down to personal preference.

Consider what kind of flavor profile and mouth feel you prefer in a wine, and then choose the one that best suits your needs.

Sarah Perez
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