A: It usually refers only to the wrapper leaf, and the year the leaf was harvested, which would be similar to a vintage year for certain grape harvests with regard to wine. That said, there are some blends labeled “vintage,” but the reference applies to all of the tobaccos being aged for several years or more.
Macanudo Vintage cigars (2000 & Maduro 1997) refer specifically to the year the wrapper leaf was harvested. Same goes for cigars such as the Rocky Patel Vintage series (of which there are several.) The most recent is the Rocky Patel Vintage 2003 Cameroon. The first “vintage” cigars from Rocky were the Vintage 1990 and 1992 released in 2000. The 1990 had an 10 year-old Maduro wrapper, whereas the 1992 had an eight-year-old Sumatra wrapper.
Other vintage series are made by CAO (Gold Vintage), Fonseca, H. Upmann (Vintage Cameroon), Gurkha (Vintage Shaggy), La Fontana (the entire line), Perdomo Estate Vintage 2002, and Romeo y Julieta Vintage.