In 2014, news broke that Jay-Z purchased the Armand de Brigand champagne brand. The truth was, in fact, that Jay-Z had long held an interest in the company. The interest actually dated back to its inception. He, however, is bolstering the success of the brand and its popularity among hip-hop artists. Jay Z’s foray into champagne was no accident. It came after a controversial statement made in 2006 by the manager of the company that makes Cristal champagne, Frederic Rouzaud. A reporter from the Economist asked Rouzaud how he felt about Cristal’s popularity with rappers. He replied, “What can we do? We can’t forbid people from buying it.” Oops, not a good move for the Cristal brand, though it did open the door for Armand de Brignac.
“Show Me What You Got”
After the backlash with Cristal, Jay-Z released the video for his song, “Show Me What You Got”. The video features a gold bottle of champagne which was quickly dubbed Ace of Spades because of its logo. The bubbly was Armand de Brigand champagne and its appearance in that music video was a major boost to the brand as it became the must-have champagne. The video has Cristal fans falling in love with Armand de Brigand.
The Five Cuvées of Armand de Brignac
Beyond the success of that first gold bottle, the flagship Armand de Brignac Gold Brut, four more cuvées were also developed. The Rosé as the company describes it, “is crafted with Pinot Noir from old vines, planted in the Montagne de Reims, that produce fruit with powerful flavor intensity.” The only prestige cuvée in the world, the Demi-Sec “is crafted using just the ultra-selective first portion of the cuvée press.” The Blanc de Blancs, a 100% Chardonnay produced in a very small cuvée, “is crafted from fruit sourced from traditional Chardonnay territory, the Côte des Blancs, and almost half of the blend is from the lauded Montagne de Reims.” The Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Two came next.
Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Two
Created for Armand de Brigand by Jean-Jacques and Alexandre Cattier, 10th and 11th generation champagne growers, the Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Two (A2) is the brand’s most prestigious and rare cuvée yet. Hand-picked fruit from villages growing Pinot Noir varietals comprise the rare cuvée that rested in the cellars in France for just over five years. True to the signature of all of the champagnes of Armand de Brignac, it uses the first and most fresh portion of the press of an assembly of fruit from the vintages of 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Take a Sip
As rare as it is unique, the limit on the production of Blanc de Noirs A2 is 2,333 bottles. It was disgorged on June 20, 2016, and became available in November 2016. Each bottle includes an inscription of its unique number, 1 through 2,333. For purchase information, the Armand de Brignac website has easily navigable tools: Where to Buy and Where to Drink. The cost per bottle averages $300.
So have you enjoyed a bottle or at least a glass of Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Two? Please share your thoughts with us.
To learn more about fine wines, read What Goes Into Making the Most Expensive Wines?