One of the most expensive A-grade champagne money can buy. It came into the limelight and sparkled after 2014 when Jay-Z acquired this timeless brand. Here are some facts about the world-renowned Ace of Spades Champagne.
Ace of Spades Champagne Origin
The actual name of the champagne is Armand de Brignac and was started by the Cattier family way back in 1918. It is believed that the name ‘de Brignac’ is a character from a novel that Jean-Jacques’ mother, Mrs. Cattier, was reading. That name seemed rather mesmerizing, so much so that it led to the development of this iconic brand.
They are more renowned for their “street name,” because of how intricately an ace of spades is carved out into their bottles with pure perfection.
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How much does the Ace of spades champagne cost?
Royalty does not come cheap; the Ace of Spades is no different. The average retail bottle unit could set you back anywhere between $290-320. The fascinating fact about the champagne, more than the price, is the number of units sold. It is seen that de Brignac sells a whopping 60,000 units a year.
The limited-edition ones may be as highly-priced as $400-500 per bottle!
The excessive prices of these units are attributed to its build quality, the grapes and the materials used to make the bottles. Moreover, the bottles are made in such a way that no units resemble each other on a minute level.
Looking for something a bit easier on the wallet? Check out “5 Cheap Wines That You Absolutely Have to Try” for more options.
History of the Ace of Spades Champagne
The Cattier family started their life about wineries when they were living in and around the picturesque areas of Montagne de Reims. These areas had excellent access to traditional grape varieties- such as pinot noir and chardonnay. This not only made resource accessibility more local and hence more authentic, but also dramatically reduces initial investments.
It was in a fortnight that the Ace of Spades’ value skyrocketed. In 2006, Jay-Z released a song called “Show me what you got.” Where he is seen to reject a bottle of Cristal (a rival brand) in favor of the Ace of Spades. After which he purchased the brand altogether, and since then, there has been no looking back!
How is the Ace of Spades Champagne made?
Ace of Spades champagne lives up to its reputation. It is a near-perfect fabricated concoction of all three kinds of champagne grape varieties
- Pinot Noir
- Pinot Munier
These grapes are hand-picked with conviction, after which they are pressed in Coquard basket press closely located to the vineyards. The first step of the press itself includes as much as 4,000-4,500 kilos of grapes, which itself produces 21-25 hectoliters of juice!
Check out “Best Grapes for Making Wine” to see the best grapes from around the world that go into making a bottle of wine.
The methodology is rather old-school, yet practical and systematic. It is observed that the grapes are chosen and picked by hand from the 25-odd hectares of vines of the Cattier family, and then the selected yield is taken for further processing.
These are then taken for pressing, and their traditional ‘Coquard basket’ press is used. The first filtrate or the first cuvée is used as a template for the initial stages of champagne production. It is seen that there is a constant proportion of 60-40 that is maintained in the filtrate content. The majority is the present cuvée while the lesser content is a remnant cuvée of the previous two years.
Once the champagne is perfectly fabricated, it is left for further natural fermentation, and this too, like the initial process, goes deeper than the average mind can fathom. The wine is kept in their natural storage facility that goes as deep as 30 meters underground! It is said that storage is the most crucial step. One that adds the complexities to the taste of the champagne, as much as its celebrity status.
Don’t forget to also check out “How Many Grapes are Used for One Bottle of Wine?” to see the process of breaking down the grapes for these bottles of wine.
The bottle of the Ace of Spades Champagne
Just like the quality of champagne, the bottle too, is outrageously expensive, taking into consideration the build and quality of materials used. Courrèges approached the mighty Cattier family in the late 90s, pitching the idea of designing a bottle template for their limited-edition luxury.
A unique attribute of the bottle is the lack of any paper material, for genuine pewter is used. The other distinct feature is the fact that each bottle is uniquely handcrafted, and there are subtle differences in either construction or appearance in each bottle. No two bottles appear similar in detail, like no champagne comes even close to the mighty Ace of Spades.
How to drink the Ace of Spades Champagne
With extortionate products, come great convention, and the Ace of Spades is no exception. This handcrafted piece of art requires a specific spectrum of ideal conditions to be enjoyed to the fullest.
The house of Cattier Champagne urges its buyers to consume this at a temperature range of 7-8 degrees Celsius. Follow this recommendation to get the most flavors and complex textures of this champagne. Ideally, this can be achieved by placing the bottle in the refrigerator overnight, or by placing the bottle in a bucket of ice for 40-45 minutes before consumption.
The house also recommends purchasing flute-shaped glasses that should not be filled more than 2/3rd the maximum volume. It is also ideal to use brand new glasses, that do not contain any reminiscent washing product compounds. Using washed glasses hinders with the effervescence the champagne produces, thereby hampering quality taste. This mostly theorizes on a molecular level, but we are here to appreciate the beauty of the Ace of Spades, not to find technical reasoning!
Be sure to also check out our piece “How to Drink Wine the Correct Way” for more guide on holding and watching how you hold your wine glass.
Possibly the most coveted champagne in the industry right now, the Ace of Spades truly lives up to its reputation, both in terms of build, manufacture, quality, and without a doubt, marketing.
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