It was a bottle of 2006 Williams Selyem Rochioli Riverblock Pinot Noir that changed the way I thought about wine from “yeah, I enjoy wine with a nice dinner” to “holy s#¡t, how can I get my hands on more of this stuff and what else is out there like this?” At the time I was working in finance in New York City for a large investment manager in the heart of Midtown. Part of the pay-off after working long hours, was the opportunity to eat the amazing food that can be found in Manhattan. Soon after tasting that Williams Selyem Pinot, wine took on a whole new importance as I set out on my NYC culinary adventures.
After working in NYC for a number of years, my girlfriend and I took a sabbatical. A good portion of our time off was spent on the South Island of New Zealand. With nothing else to do but fly-fish and sample some of New Zealand’s delicious offerings under screw cap, my excitement and curiosity about wine spiked even higher. At the end of the year we were married and moved to Seattle, my wife’s hometown. Living in Washington State, surrounded by a deep and approachable wine culture, I began to dream about how best I could put my experience and Tuck MBA to work.
As an investor I spent most of my time searching out underappreciated companies that were misvalued by the market. This is how I soon began to think about “wine storage.” Storage, as it existed, didn’t strike me as a terribly sexy part of the wine experience. But the more research I did, the more I found the aging of wine to be super interesting. Wine is one of the few consumable goods on earth that has the potential to improve over time if cared for under the right conditions. Having a special case of wine develop over time is a uniquely enjoyable experience. And that really is the idea behind PHENOL55. PHENOL55 offers the information, tools and access to enjoy the experience of cellaring wine, not just storing it.