Armand de Brignac History
Armand de Brignac is produced by the award-winning Champagne Cattier House of Chigny-les-Roses, France.
The Cattier family has owned and cultivated vineyards since 1763.
However it was only in the late 1940s that the original “de Brignac” name was registered by the Cattier family, probably chosen at that time by Jean-Jacques Cattier’s mother, who had been reading a novel featuring a character named de Brignac.
The brand was dormant until 2006, in occasion of the introduction of a new champagne, as the French industry group Comité Interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne(CIVC) requires the use of an existing brand in order for a wine to be deemed “champagne”.
From that moment, Cattier began a collaboration with Sovereign Brands to market the brand, and a separate website for the newly named Armand de Brignac was established.
The first champagne launched was Armand de Brignac Brut Gold (Ace of Spades), characterised by a gold-coloured bottle conceived by French fashion designer André Courréges, with a pewter label made in an ace of spades insignias, symbolising the Champagne region’s regal history and heritage.
The brand first gained worldwide visibility in the music video for rapper Jay-Z song “Show Me What You Got” , which debuted in late October, 2006.
In 2008 Armand de Brignac Rosé and Armand de Brignac Blanc de Blancs were launched.
In 2009 Armand De Brignac arrived first in a blind tasting of 100 champagnes by Fine Champagne Magazine.
In 2014 Jay- Z acquired the champagne brand Armand De Brignac from Sovereign Brands.
Armand de Brignac House
Classified as a N.M. – French denomination for Négociant-Manipulant – Cattier produces its champagnes directly from its vineyards but also utilising grapes acquired from small producers.
Annual sales stand at a million bottles, 60 % of which are exported to over 70 countries.
Today, the house remains independently-owned and run by the Cattier family.
Patriarch Jean-Jacques Cattier oversees the wine production; with strictly limited annual yields, M. Cattier and his staff can ensure that the family’s artisanal winemaking traditions are kept alive in each bottle.
The family owns more than 30 ha vineyards in the Montagne de Reims part of Champagne, included the prestigious Clos du Moulin, Premier Cru.
All the vineyards are cultivated following responsible viticultural methods and the entire production is gradually introducing the HACCP standards.
Chairman and CEO is Alexandre Cattier, Jean-Jacques Cattier’s son, who is also the Cellar Master of the House.
The House has gained a high-profile fan base including actors Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney and athletes Roger Federer and Luis Figo.
Armand de Brignac has also the merit to have revolutionised the world of luxury large-format champagne bottles: besides the standard-size 750ml bottles, the range includes Magnums (1.5L), Jeroboams (3L), Methuselahs (6L), Nebuchadnezzars (15L) and the unparalleled Midas (30L).
These extremely rare bottles – only a handful of the largest sizes are released annually – are also record-setters: the Rosé Nebuchadnezzar (15L), with a volume equivalent to 20 standard bottles, is the world’s largest known Rosé Champagne bottle, while the Brut Gold Midas, with a weight of more than 45kg (100 lbs), is ranked as the largest luxury bottle of Champagne – of any type – ever created, requiring multiple people to lift, carry, or pour.
Armand de Brignac Style
The quality of Armand de Brignac is rooted in the time-honored traditions of its production, under the guidance of father and son winemakers Jean-Jacques and Alexandre Cattier and a staff of only eight craftspeople.
Although many of Champagne’s producers now use industrial-grade, high volume presses, the family employs a traditional Coquart press for its prestigious champagne: this ensures a slow and high-quality yield is extracted from the grapes.
These are selected from the finest vineyards in La Marne, including Grand Crus villages like Cramant, Avize, Oger, and Choilly, and Premier Cru towns including Ludes, Rilly-la-Montagne, Villers Allerand, Taissy, Villers Marmery, and Mareuil-sur-Ay.
Complex and full-bodied, Armand de Brignac champagnes derive their light, racy effervescence from the quality of the Chardonnay grapes, while Pinot Noir lends strength, boldness, and depth of palate. Finally, Pinot Meunier adds roundness, nuance, and fruitiness to the cuvées.
Each of the wines produced are considered prestige releases and are all multi-vintage, consisting of three distinct years in each blend.
The dosage, created from a blend of still wines from prior harvests and aged for a full year in oaken casks from Burgundy and Champagne, imparts subtle nuances to the champagne.
The ageing lasts from four to five years in the chalk cellars and the remuage is done by hand.