A pair of thieves were this week sentenced to two years in prison, with a further two years suspended, for stealing 24 bottles of wine from some of Bordeaux's best-known chateaux.
Chateau Angelus wines were among those stolen
The men, named as Mourad Herzi, 30, and Kamal Khobzaoui, 47, were arrested last Friday evening after breaking into a wine brokerage office in Bordeaux.
They stole 24 bottles of wine from a fridge, including those produced by Chateaux Angelus and Pavie, which were recently promoted to St Emilion Grand Cru Classe A status.
Wines from Smith Haut Lafitte and Carmes Haut-Brion were also stolen. Six of the bottles were broken during the raid.
The theft was witnessed by a neighbour, who pursued the thieves and alerted the police. Previous theft convictions for both men resulted in the relatively harsh sentences handed down, a tribunal hearing in Bordeaux heard.
The case follows a spate of break-ins at Bordeaux chateaux over recent months, with 20 suspects arrested in February 2014 and accused of stealing over €1m-worth of wine.
‘Certainly as the value of Bordeaux wine has increased, it has become more vulnerable to theft and other criminal activity,’ Christophe Chateau, of Bordeaux Wine Bureau CIVB told Decanter.com.
Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux