Inside Jay Z's $300-a-Bottle Champagne Company

Armand de Brignac sells the 'Ace of Spades' bubbly he loves
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2014 10:59 AM CST
Inside Jay Z's $300-a-Bottle Champagne Company
Armand de Brignac's Dynastie collection.   (PRNewsFoto/Armand de Brignac)

Multiple outlets are reporting that Jay Z recently bought the Armand de Brignac champagne company, maker of his flashy favorite drink—you might recognize the shiny gold bottles of its $300-a-pop champagne from the rapper's "Show Me What You Got" music video. But the real story is a bit more complicated, as Zack O'Malley Greenburg explains in Forbes. A press release issued this week explains that Jay Z bought out Sovereign Brands' stake in the company. But the rapper has always had a financial interest in Armand de Brignac, Greenburg writes. The backstory: Jay Z used to favor Cristal, but in 2006, the manager of the company that makes that champagne was asked about Cristal's popularity with rappers. His reply: "What can we do? We can't forbid people from buying it."

Jay Z called for a boycott of the champagne; later that year, a bottle of Armand de Brignac champagne, nicknamed "Ace of Spades" for its logo, appeared in the aforementioned music video, and still later that year, the champagne started being sold in North America. Greenburg went to a lot of trouble to figure out the true origin of Armand de Brignac champagne: It's made by Cattier, a French company, and the gold bottle bears "a striking resemblance" to one of Cattier's other brands, the $60-a-bottle Antique Gold, which was discontinued in 2006. Greenburg eventually learned that Jay Z owned what sources said was a $50 million stake in Armand de Brignac, sharing ownership with Cattier and, until this week, Sovereign Brands. (At a 2012 fundraiser Jay Z and Beyonce hosted for President Obama, there was an 18-foot tower of the bubbly—$280,000 worth.)

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