Champagne fans rejoice: Jay Z’s got a new bottle of bubbly.
Jay’s Ace of Spades brand (Armand de Brignac) is high-end stuff, but it’s apparently going to get even more luxurious, as the newest iteration of the champagne will cost a hefty $850 per bottle.
In 2014, Jay increased his ownership stake in the champagne company, which is centuries old; Armand de Brignac founded its Champagne branch in 1763. Rather than rely on tradition to sell bottles, however, Jay has outfitted the Ace of Spades brand with fancy bottles and packaging.
Nevertheless, wine aficionados say that the company’s wines are impressive.
“With the [new] 100% Pinot Noir ‘Blanc de Noirs’ going for £695, Armand de Brignac is one of the most expensive champagne[s] on the market,” wrote Christelle Guibert, tasting director for Decanter. “Yes, it is very expensive but so is some of the other luxury champagne, so we are not here to discuss value.”
Other tasters did note that Jay Z’s A1 champagne is very good, but that it doesn’t quite live up to the $750 price tag.
Still, Bloomberg’s Elin McCoy referred to A1 as “full, rich, and tangy—and way better and more elegant than it has to be for a wine that may end up more status symbol than collectible.”
But that was A1. The new product is called—you guessed it—A2.
The A stands for “Assemblage,” and A2 will be the highest priced wine from the company. Bloomberg reports that it “features pinot noir grapes picked from the 2008, 2009, and 2010 vintages,” so it’s not an aged wine, per se. Still, the company is hoping that exclusivity will help to move units, as they’ll make only 2,233 bottles for sale in the United States.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Armand de Brignac CEO Sebastien Besson said that the company wasn’t planning on numbering the bottles.
“We hadn’t thought about numbering them originally,” he said. “But customers and collectors were requesting specific numbers: 888, or their birth date.”
Jay Z reportedly doesn’t dabble in the actual production process, preferring to let the expert winemakers handle that element of the business. Still, Besson insists that Hova’s influence is significant.
“Jay is a very strong businessman, certainly one that likes to understand what consumers want and here to build the business for the long term,” said Besson. “He always has a few bottles on hand for a celebration, I know that for sure.”
Jay Z’s had a long, interesting relationship with wine, as he featured Cristal champagne in his music up until 2006, when that suddenly changed. Frederic Rouzaud, the managing director of the company that owns Cristal, said in an interview that he wasn’t exactly happy to have rappers’ business.
“What can we do?” Rouzaud said at the time. “We can’t forbid people from buying it. I’m sure Dom Perignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”
Jay Z immediately released a statement saying that he considered Rouzaud’s comments to be racist. A decade later, Jay has his own respected champagne brand—and he’s gunning for the same market that Cristal cornered in the ’90s.