The Parisian wine world is in shock after a sophisticated heist earlier this month saw thieves steal hundreds of thousands of euros of vintage wine from a Michelin-starred restaurant.
Crooks allegedly stole more than 150 bottles of wine from the 50,000-bottle cellar of the two-star Maison Rostang on the night of July 1, reports News week (Going through Grub Street). The restaurant, located in the northeast of the 17th arrondissement near the Arc de Triomphe, has already been praised for its “magnificent” and “particularly interesting wine list”.
The next day, staff walked in to find the missing bottles and a 20 inch hole in the cellar wall, which was being remodeled. Police believe the thieves first broke into a nearby section of the city’s famous catacombs, from where they breached the cellar. It wasn’t the only sign of planning, either, as the culprits seemed to know exactly what they were looking for. More than half of the bottles were from old vintages from the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti region in Burgundy, while others came from the best Bordeaux estates Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Petrus. The resale value of the bottles is estimated to be between € 400,000 and € 600,000 ($ 450,000 to $ 675,000 at the current exchange rate).
“We are very touched by this theft, because this collection has taken 40 years to build,” chef-restaurant Michel Rostang said in a statement. He confirmed that the restaurant will remain open while police investigate.
It might not come as a surprise, but Paris is no stranger to big money theft. Two years ago, thieves used the Catacombs to gain access to an apartment in which they stole 300 bottles of good wine worth around $ 250,000. Prior to that, in 2009, police arrested a Frenchman on suspicion of stealing more than 500 vintage bottles from restaurants in the city.