Armand de Brignac Brut Gold (Ace of Spades) (1.5 Liter Magnum)
Non-Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
As seen in Oprah's Favorite Things 2011!
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.
Armand contains a multi-vintage blend of the following grapes at these proportions: 33% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 33% Pinot Menuier.
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.
Wine & Spirits - "The refinement of the bubbles and impeccable pale color brought James Bond to mind for one taster, "the new Bond, the blond Bond." The comment generated a flurry of critical reviews from the panelists: "This is more Timothy Dalton: polished, looks good, but doesn't have a lot to say." "This is more like Gregory Peck: It has nothing to prove." "Burt Lancaster in A Wild Thing." "Clooney on ER before he got polished..." This is a bold and powerful wine that holds its balance. Driven by scents of brioche and chalk, along with intense acidity, it should develop well with several years of bottle age."
International Wine Cellar - "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 Winery
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. View all Armand de Brignac Wines
About ChampagneView a map of Champagne wineries Champagne is both a region and a method. The wines come from the northernmost vineyards in France and the name conjures an image like no other can. An 18th Century Benedictine monk named Dom Perignon is said to be the first to blend both varietals and vintages, making good wines not only great, but also special and unique to their winemaker. Today, nearly 75% of Champagne produced is non-vintage and made up by a blend of several years' harvests.
All Champagnes must be made by a strictly controlled process called "Méthode Champenoise." The grapes are pressed and fermented for the first time. The blending phase follows and the wine is bottled and temporarily capped. Then comes the second fermentation, a blend of sugar and yeast is added and, this time, the carbon dioxide is kept inside the bottle. This process leaves a great deal of sediment that is extracted through a process of "racking" or "riddling." The bottles are progressively turned upside down until all the sediment is collected in the neck. The necks are then frozen and the sediment is "disgorged." After this phase, the winemaker may decide to add sugar to sweeten the wine. Finally the wine is corked. Some wines move through this process in a couple of months, while others are aged after the riddling phase to build greater complexity and depth.
Champagnes range from dry, "Brut," to slightly sweet, "Demi-Sec." Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes are used in Champagne blends, but "Blancs de Noirs" is made entirely of Pinot Noir and "Blancs de Blanc" is made from only Chardonnay grapes. The high acidity achieved by the northern location is crucial to the balance and structure of these wines.
Not every year is a "vintage" declared. In years when it is not, the wines are blended with the produce from other years to create the non-vintage blend, the house style that remains constant from year to year. But in a great vintage year, champagne houses will bottle by itself the unblended year's produce, and use other portions as "reserve" wines to supplement and enrich the non-vintage blend. A vintage champagne can age quite gracefully, and gain complexity just like any other great still wine.
Mild cheeses like gruyere and shellfish pair nicely with Champagne. Also, oysters and Champagne is a popular combination. A full-flavored vintage Champagne can go with almost any meal.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.