Wine collectors are known to dig for rare bottles, but this week in France, a ne’er do well took that philosophy way too far. Authorities reported that someone dug a tunnel into a famed restaurant’s wine cellar and made off with between $500,000 and 750,000 worth of rare bottles.
Paris gendarmes said that at least 150 bottles of marquis wines were stolen from the Michelin 2-Starred Maison Rostang in the 17th arrondissement on Monday (7.01).
The thieves tunneled to the cellar and then broke through via a 20 inch hole according to authorities. Investigators believe that the bandits did not enter the cellar, but merely stuck their arms through the hole and grabbed the best bottles available.
Those pilfered bottles included cuvées from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (considered the best wine in the world by this writer,) as well as Bordeaux heavy hitters from Lafite Rothschild, Latour and Petrus according to a statement from the restaurant.
Chef and Founder Michel Rostang lamented, “We are very hurt by this theft, because this collection has taken 40 years to build.”
The 50,000 bottle cellar was under renovation at the time of the break in. The restaurant plans to continue operations unabated post robbery.
The robbery was not unprecedented. In 2017, burglars made off with about $300,000 in wine after tunneling into a different Paris cellar. In 2009, French authorities arrested a man accused of stealing about 500 bottles worth a cool half-mil from Paris restaurants.