Back in 2014, Jay-Z officially became the owner of Champagne Armand de Brignac—a Champagne brand run by the Cattier family, who’s been growing Champagne grapes since 1763. The house only produces about 60,000 bottles of Champagne per year, and each one is unique, with the signature “Ace of Spades” pewter label applied by hand. According to a recent Travel + Leisure story, Jay-Z’s favorite variety is the “ultra-rare Blanc de Noirs” A2 blend, which retailed for a whopping $850 when it was still on the market; however, the latest cuvée from the brand promises to be even more extravagant. Enter Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Three (A3), the third assemblage of Armand de Brignac’s cuvée (the first debuted in 2015), which retails for $1,000 per bottle. Scheduled to launch September 5, A3 is the brand’s rarest, most expensive cuvée to date—and as such, only 3,535 bottles were created.
Per the announcement, A3 is made with 100 percent Pinot Noir grapes sourced from "some of the best Pinot Noir producing villages" in the Montagne de Reims, including Bouzy, Verzenay, Ludes, and Rilly La Montagne. Comprised of three vintages from 2009, 2010, and 2012 respectively, the wine was kept in a cellar for six years until the bottles were disgorged—meaning had the yeast removed from the neck of the bottle at the conclusion of the aging process—on April 9, 2019. (Each bottle, shown below, is marked with a number from 1-3,535.) As for the tasting notes? The bouquet is said to have hints of apricot, blackberry, butter, and gingerbread—the palate is described as “succulent,” with expressions including blackberry, pastry, blackcurrant, vanillas, cherry, strawberry, and plum. The wine can be tasted immediately after opening, or, if you’d prefer to save it, can be “rested under ideal cellaring conditions until 2030.” And, considering the price, saving it for a special occasion seems reasonable.
“Because of the power that comes from using 100% red fruit, it can be challenging to achieve a balanced Blanc de Noirs,” Jean-Jacques Cattier, Armand de Brignac’s Chef de Cave, said in a statement. “Because we do not have any pressure to create volume, we are able to be extremely selective. Using small parcels of only the very best Pinot Noir, we’re able to meticulously balance the acidity and sugar, achieving a Blanc de Noirs with integrity to the powerful style, but with balance and elegance.”
If you get your hands on a bottle, Champagne Armand de Brignac has a few recommended food pairings to go with it, saying it works well with rich flavors. Think foie gras, tagine of lamb with spices and apricots, roasted chicken with cranberry sauce, a spiced rack of lamb, and clafoutis “with fresh dark red fruits.” We also have some favorite Champagne pairings of our own, ranging from chilled peach soup to “Oysters Rocafella,” which just so happen to be an homage to Jay-Z himself—with Champagne-infused foam and frozen Champagne grapes to match. Something tells us he’d approve.