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Grand Theft Vino

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Kerana Todorov reports for the Napa Valley Register:

Investigators have recovered the bulk of the premium wine bottles stolen from The French Laundry on Christmas Day, according to the Napa County Sheriff's Office. No arrests have been made.
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The wine, with an estimated retail value of about $300,000, was reported missing Dec. 26 after an employee discovered someone had broken into the famed Yountville Michelin-starred restaurant. The suspect - or suspects - broke into the building sometime after 2 p.m. on Christmas Day, Pike said. The alarm system had not been set.
How big a truck do you need to steal 300 grand worth of wine?
Sheriff's officials did not disclose exactly how many of the missing 76 bottles were recovered or how the wine was traced back to North Carolina.
Yup, that's an average of almost 4 grand per bottle.  Now, I like a fine bottle of wine as much as the next guy, but anyone who would drop 40 Benjamins on a single bottle needs to find something more productive to do with his money, like donate it to CJLF.

The stolen wine was considered among the best in the world, including dozens of bottles of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and five bottles of Screaming Eagle cabernet from the 1990s and 2010.

Jeff Daniels, co-founder and president of Wilson Daniels LTD, the exclusive importer of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti in the United States, said price per bottle ranges from $3,000 to $25,000 and may gain 20 percent in value every year.

The French Laundry charges $5,750 for a bottle of 1988 Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg, according to the wine list posted on the restaurant's website. The other missing Domaine de la Romanee-Conti wines were from other vineyards, including La Tache, Grands Echezeaux and Romanee Conti.

Because these French wines are so pricey, every bottle has a unique serial number on its labels.

The corks and capsules also have markings only visible through ultra-violet light to prevent counterfeits, according to Daniels.


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