The Ace of Spades - Armand de Brignac
The Armand de Brignac champagnes are made in the village of Rilly-la-Montagne, in the Montagne de Reims region of Champagne. Fruit is sourced from the 30+ hectares owned by the Cattier family and from growers in selected villages across the region. All three Champagne grape varieties are used: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
After hand-picking, the fruit is pressed in one of two family-owned wineries located close to the vineyards. The first press of 4,000 kilos of grapes provides an allowable yield of 20.5 hectolitres of juice (the "cuvée") and Armand de Brignac selects just the very first and freshest portion of this press.
The champagnes rests on lees in the cellars for years before disgorgement. Armand de Brignac uses a unique cuvee that comprises the best still wines aged for one year in French oak barrels. These oak barrels are placed 30 ft underground and thought to give the champagne its complexity and life.
Each metalized bottle is finished by hand, with the application of French pewter labels, polished, and housed in a wooden lacquered gift box, ensuring every single bottle is unique. The annual yield for these bottles is roughly 60,000, which is considered fairly low in comparison to other named brands.