Whatever it was, El Niño, the shifting of the planets or a blessing from Mother Nature, the Connecticut-Shade wrapper leaves from the 2000 crop year are considered by General Cigar Co. to be some of the best.
The best leaves go around General's Macanudo Vintage cigars, in this case the Vintage 2000. This is the sixth time in 27 years that the company has found a crop it deemed worthy of the Vintage designation. The selection process is stringent: the wrapper leaves are twice cured and aged five years, after which, 6 to 10 percent of the elite crop is chosen to go around the Vintage smokes. The vintage date refers to the wrapper only.
Made by General in the Dominican Republic, the cigars have binders from Mexico and filler blending Mexican and Dominican tobaccos. Available in late October in boxes of 20, there are four frontmarks: No. 1, 7 1/2 inches by 49 ring gauge; No. II, 6 9/19 by 43; No. X, 6 by 54; and No. VIII, 5 1/2 by 50. The cigars retail between $13.25 and $14.75.