I just met two of the coolest guys in the wine business. They founded a company you have probably never heard of. And they throw great events, with some top-shelf châteaus and domaines from France.
Laurens Delpech and Philippe Capdouze founded a company called FICOFI in 1990. Based in Bordeaux and Paris, the company has a mandate to connect corporate clients, typically in finance, with the best domaines and estates from France and other countries around the world. The partners organize about 200 tastings, dinners and other events worldwide each year, including 15 to 20 in New York.
About 7 years ago, FICOFI began managing personal cellars for their clients. For a minimum of 300,000 euros, they will buy, store and ship the wines you want, where you want them. Playing golf in Scotland for a week? No problem. Let Delpech and Capdouze know what you would like to drink after your round and they will organize it.
By the way, these aren’t your everyday wines. FICOFI’s patners include Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Domaine Leflaive, Châteaus Lafite, Margaux and Mouton, Champagne houses Krug and Roederer, Sassicaia and Grange, to name a few.
Last night, at FICOFI’s Le Palais des Grands Crus tasting and dinner at The Pierre, it was too much of a good thing. There was Montrachet, DRC Romanée-St.-Vivant 2001 and La Tâche 1995, and Bouchard Père & Fils Beaune Grèves Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus 2003 from jeroboam.
There were mini-verticals of Angélus, Cos-d’Estournel and Pontet Canet, with respective owners Coralie de Boüard, Jean-Guillaume Prats and Alfred Tesseron present.
What might have been the highlight was a collection of 1970 and 1966 Bordeaux, many from magnum. Maybe it was me, but likely the walkaround tasting format did not do these mature wines justice. Several tasted tired and drying out. I preferred the 1985s on display, particularly the Pichon Lalande.
There was also a terrific Angélus 1998 and Léoville Las Cases 2000 from magnum. And with the dessert, a magnum of Yquem 1996.
FICOFI also hosts smaller events. I attended one 5 years ago at Le Bernardin, as a guest of Rémi Krug. Yes we drank Krug, both the Grande Cuvée and Clos de Mésnil 1988, and a selection of DRC wines, including the Romané-Conti 1971 from magnum. We ended with the Yquem 1967.
It may seem like overkill, but I admire Delpechs’ and Capdouze’s philosophy. The wines they buy are for drinking and enjoying. “We don’t [buy wines to] speculate,” says Capdouze. “For that reason we have turned down clients.”
Peter Chang — Hong Kong — May 26, 2007 10:15pm ET
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