Epernay is a town in France that is built upon chalk rock in the heart of the Champagne region, and this is where the line gets its name. The whole line is meant to be lighter and sweeter than the original Illusiones, and there is no ligero tobacco in the cigars at all. Out of the five vitolas I smoked my favorite, Le Matin. The cigar is 6 1/2" long and has a ring gauge of 46, and has a wonderful draw. To me the cigar is very mild-medium in body, and is blended beautifully. Like all of his cigars, it has a wonderful triple cap and the wrapper on this cigar, a cafe rosado, is beautiful. Another great this about this line, is that all of the vitolas have ring gauges in the 40's. I hate large ring gauge cigars, and I think Giolito does as well. I love Giolito's smokes and I think he is right on with what he is making, but let's get to the flavor profile of this beauty.
The cigar smokes very smoothly, giving off lots of floral, honey, and café au lait notes. This cigar truly is great, and deserves to be in the top 10 of 2010, since it was just released last year. Looking at Cigar Aficionado's Top 10 however, I would move it up to third place, I think it is a better smoke than the four ahead of it. I have read from interviews that this cigar is meant to be paired with champagne, and I can see the reason for that. This would be fabulous with prosecco, cava, or champagne, but would even go great with a coffee! I for one praise my favorite prosecco and cava over most champagnes, just because of the flavors I have gotten. I am still smoking this cigar right now, and I can't begin to tell you how much I love it.
I would strongly recommend this cigar to anyone out there, and it could be enjoyed anytime of the day. I think in my next wine tasting with Red Dog I will bring one of these sticks over. I can honestly say that this is one of the best smokes I have had all week, and would give it a 96. If you don't believe me in my opinion, check out other critics, they will say the same.
I feel like a guy on Wall Street with this cigar. "Buy! Buy! Buy!"
W. Curtis Draper