La Barba is the creation of Tony Bellato and Craig Rossi, and burst onto the cigar scene back in 2010. Bellato has been involved in the cigar business all his life, with his family having owned retail stores for almost four decades. He developed an interest in wine in college, followed by a deep interest in cigars, not to mention craft beer and spirits. Rossi’s passion for cigars dates back to his early college days, and, a few years after meeting Rossi at the Havana House in Niles, Ohio, the duo decided to finally jump into the industry themselves.
One of La Barba’s lines, known as Ricochet, is inspired by their love of wine and Bellatto’s wide knowledge as a sommelier. He describes the line as influenced by “the components of wines from around the world that I have fallen in love with.” The original Ricochet was developed with Italian Primitivo in mind. The new Cru Mexi-Sol iteration we have for you this month is inspired by left bank Bordeaux wine, exhibiting a “definitive spicy minerality, and a touch of soft sweetness.” The blend employs a super smooth sun-grown Mexican San Andrés wrapper (hence the name Mexi-Sol) as well as an Indonesian binder and fillers from the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Pennsylvania. Look for notes of leather, earth, and wood, with a nice dose of peppery spice along the way. For pairing options, we recommend fine small batch bourbons, like Four Roses.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
Outstanding Values On Top-Rated Cigars
Our purchasing power allows us to offer exceptional reorder values on highly rated
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.