Wild About Burgundy (and DRC)

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Edmond Asseily doesn’t make halfway decisions. He goes all in.

As a young high-flying currency and metals trader in Europe in the 1990s, Asseily dove into Bordeaux’s top growths—amassing thousands of bottles in his Paris cellar, studying châteaus and drinking every vintage he could find.

“Within seven years, I drank everything you could drink in Bordeaux back to the 19th century,” he says. “I was on a learning binge.”

But Asseily, now 48, wanted more. Tall and lean, the French-Lebanese hedge-fund manager has an intense personality, fluency in seven languages and a hyperactive curiosity.

In 1996, at a lavish dinner in Paris with classic French vintages, he drank 1978 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti, which he says changed his life: “The Romanée-Conti haunted me with its sheer aromatics and delicacy I had never encountered before.”

Asseily sold his Bordeaux collection in 1999 and plunged into Burgundy, fascinated by the range of wines all centered on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

“I wanted to understand Burgundy the way I understood Bordeaux,” he says. “At the time, Burgundy was off the radar...read the full blog at winespectator.com