Dion Giolito and his Illusione brand are no strangers to this list; especially having taken top honors in 2017 with the Illusione Haut 10. This year, Illusione makes another appearance with the Epernay 10th Anniversary d’Aosta.
Giolito named the cigar for a region of Northern Italy where he has family and that is on the other side of the Monte Bianco tunnel, which leads to Geneva, home to the original Davidoff store. It was during a trip there that he envisioned Zino Davidoff traveling along the same roads and enjoying wine from the grapes that his family grows, which turned into the eventual inspiration to make a cigar that Davidoff would like.
Keeping with the Epernay’s original direction of being a lighter version of the ~eccj~ and designed to pair with Champagne, the cigar is on the lighter side but pleases the palate with sweetness, creaminess and pepper, blended with a choreographed precision that is a signature of Giolito’s direction. — Patrick Lagreid.