Tens of thousands of dollars in rare wines are missing in the Napa region following a Christmas Day break in at The French Laundry, the famed restaurant said Tuesday.
Chef and owner Thomas Keller confirmed on Twitter that the Yountville fine dining establishment lauded as one of the world's best restaurants had been the "victim of a robbery" and that "specific wines of specific value were stolen." Bottles from Screaming Eagle, which run $3,500 to $6,500 on the restaurant's extensive wine list, and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which can set diners back up to $7,950, were among those lost, he said.
While Keller did not specify the total number or value of stolen bottles, the Napa Sheriff's officials said an initial investigation pegged the lost inventory at 40 to 50 bottles worth more than $50,000. Other reports have cited even larger losses.
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Captain Douglas Pike said the wine went missing sometime after 2 p.m. on Christmas during a "brief window where there was nobody there" at the site, which he said he was told is typically staffed 24-7. The three Michelin-starred restaurant had closed for planned renovation.
Pike said authorities believe the theft was targeted, given the brands and vintages that were stolen. A photo posted to Instagram showed a splintered door.
"We assume this is going to be for resale value, either for private persons or toher restaurants," he said.
The French Laundry posted on Instagram that it is "confident that if and when any of the stolen bottles appear in public, they will immediately raise questions and red flags among the wine knowledgeable."
"The French Laundry wine program is, as many of you know, singular and distinct," it said. "We look forward to rebuilding our cellar in the meantime and plan to get to the bottom of this disheartening act immediately."