N.V. Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades Brut

Year: N.V.
Appellation: Champagne
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 93
Vinous Media: 91
Wine Enthusiast: 91
Decanter: 95
Sparkling Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 12.5%
Price :
$249.95
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"An elegant, creamy Champagne, with pretty apple blossom and spice notes leading to finely meshed flavors of ripe white cherry, whole-grain toast and spun honey, framed by fresh, citrusy acidity. Drink now through 2021. Tasted twice, with consistent notes. -AN" (WS)

"Tasted from magnum (the 750-milliliter bottle costs $285), the NV Brut (Gold) opens with lovely matured brioche, toast and ripe fruit flavors. Fresh, pure and elegant on the palate, with beautifully matured flavors and an elegant creaminess I don't find in the other cuvées, the "Gold" is a blend of 40% Pinot Noir, 40% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier as well as the vintages of 2009, 2010 and 2012. The wine reveals good grip and mineral tension and drinks well as an aperitif or with seafood and fish. Tasted from L09B8, April 2018.

Since November 2014, Armand de Brignac has been the Champagne brand of rapper and music producer JAY-Z. The five non-vintage cuvées, which are sold in opaque metallic bottles and at absolutely crazy prices, are produced by father and son Jean-Jacques and Alexandre Cattier from Champagne Cattier who started releasing de Brignac in 2006. The fruit—Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay—comes from vineyards owned by the Cattier family and from growers in selected villages across the region. For Armand de Brignac, colloquially known as "Ace of Spades," only the tête de cuvée of the press is used, so the very finest part. Each cuvée assembles three vintages and is dosed with matured wines aged in oak barrels. Aged for several years on the second lees, the wines are intense, powerful, well-structured and of excellent quality. The brand's first bottling, Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, is still the finest cuvée due to its richness and ripeness. The Blanc de Blancs, released in 2015 for the first time, is also a highly expressive NV with a chalky-mineral character that needs more time in the bottle to show its true class. The second assemblage of the prestigious Blanc de Noir, a rare Pinot Noir (2,333 bottles), was rather disappointing when tasted in April but will be tasted again soon." (WA)

"($300; a blend of wines from 2002, 2003 and 2005) Bright gold with a strong bead. Highly perfumed bouquet displays pear, nectarine, honeysuckle and sweet butter, plus an undercurrent of spice, ginger and lemon pith adding energy. Fleshy pit fruit and soft citrus flavors provide very good palate coverage and offer pungent spice and candied floral qualities on the back end. Nervy minerality adds lift and cut to the long, gently smoky and subtly sweet finish, which leaves candied orange peel and floral notes behind. (Armand de Brignac, New York, NY)" (VM)

"A blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, this ripe, well-balanced wine has some toast that adds complexity and richness to the apple and lemon fruit, indicating a mature bottling. The wine in a gold-foil bottle is one of five made by the Cattier house for rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z's Armand de Brignac Empire brand with the “Ace of Spades” logo." (WE)

"This is a three-way assemblage: three grape varieties – and equal percentage of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with 20% of Pinot Meunier – and a blend of 3 vintages, 2009, 2010 and 2012. The nose is full of flavours and rich with notes of white flowers and crème patissière. However, the palate is crisp, fresh and delicate with a lovely creamy texture. It is elegant, refined and very stylish (unlike the bottle!). It’s a pleasant combination of power and concentration blended with finesse and elegance. While the dosage is 9g/l, it feels much drier, more like a 5g/l and this probably due to the spinal cord of acidity." (DM)

Winery Notes:
ARMAND DE BRIGNAC HISTORY
Both the Champagne of Armand de Brignac and its gold bottle have unique histories: THE CHAMPAGNE Armand de Brignac is produced by Armand de Brignac Champagne of Reims, France. The Cattier family has owned and cultivated land in the Champagne region’s Montagne de Reims Terroir since 1763, and coined the Armand de Brignac name in the 1950s. In our search for a Champagne that would meet our standards for a finer luxury Champagne, we chose the Cattier house because of their history and reputation for producing exquisite Champagne. M. Cattier was able to create a blend of grapes that fit what we had sought. Armand de Brignac bottles are filled, corked, and cultivated by hand by our caretakers throughout the aging process. The Armand de Brignac cellars are considered the deepest in the Reims Terroir.

THE BLEND
Armand contains a multi-vintage blend of the following grapes at these proportions: 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Menuierr

TASTING NOTES
Armand de Brignac is marvelously complex and full-bodied, with a bouquet that is both fresh and lively. Its sumptuous, racy fruit character is perfectly integrated with the wine's subtle brioche accents. Its texture is deliciously creamy and the palate has great depth and impact with a long and silky finish. A superb and singular example of a Prestige Champagne.

THE BOTTLE
2006 marks the unveiling of Armand de Brignac in the stunning gold bottle originally developed by Cattier for the André Courrèges fashion house. Cattier’s gold bottle also made an appearance at Queen Elizabeth II of England’s Golden Jubilee celebration. All labels for each bottle of Armand de Brignac are made of real pewter, polished and applied by hand. Each bottle is packaged in a black embroidered velvet bag, which completes a package that speaks to the quality of the Armand de Brignac Champagne and the care taken with each step of its realization.

Jancis Robinson
Armand de Brignac Champagne has won praise from wine critics and connoisseurs across the globe, culminating with the recent selection of Armand de Brignac Brut Gold as the No. 1 Champagne in the World in a blind taste-test of 1,000 brands. Seeing Armand de Brignac ranked ahead of classic Champagnes like Dom Perignon, Krug, and Cristal has turned more than a few heads in the wine world, among them Jancis Robinson, one of the world’s most famous wine critics. Ms. Robinson is the editor of The Oxford Companion to Wine and The World Atlas of Wine, as well as the personal advisor for Queen Elizabeth II’s wine cellar. Jancis had the opportunity to taste Armand de Brignac Brut Gold for the first time recently, and had the following to report:

“(I) shared a golden bottle, in the most extraordinarily lavish black lacquer box…with some (friends) last weekend. Now of course this is not the same as tasting a wine blind, but I have to say that I was pretty impressed. Armand de Brignac Brut Gold is extremely dense with a very stimulatingly tight bead. It’s tense and refreshing with scents in the floral / vegetation spectrum followed by real precision on the palate. I opened a bottle of one of my current favourite vintage champagnes, Pol Roger 1999 afterwards and the Pol looked a bit diffuse and ordinary.”

As our friends in the wine world will doubtless be aware, a positive review like the above from Ms. Robinson is quite a rare thing. This endorsement of Armand de Brignac’s quality is quite simply the icing on the cake following the Champagne’s selection as the finest in the world. Please share this wonderful review with everyone!


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