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Thieves steal $300,000 of DRC and Screaming Eagle from The French Laundry

Burglars who stole $300,000 worth of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and Screaming Eagle wines from one of California's best known restaurants, The French Laundry, will find it hard to sell the bottles on, according to the restaurant's owner.

Burglars broke into Michelin-starred The French Laundry (pictured) in Yountville, Napa, on Christmas Day and escaped with 76 bottles of some of the world’s most highly rated wines.

A full list of the wines stolen, published in the Los Angeles times, included bottles of DRC Romanee-Conti ranging from 2004 to 2010 inclusive, as well as La Tache dating back to the 1993 vintage and Screaming Eagle dating back to 1992.

All the wines regularly sell for several thousand dollars per bottle. Los Angeles wine retailer Wally’s was this week selling one 75cl bottles of Romanee-Conti 2004 for $10,500.

Five bottles of Dom Perignon 2004 Champagne were also taken, suggesting the burglars knew what to pick from The French Laundry’s cellar. Police were still searching for those responsible.

But, restaurant owner and chef Thomas Keller, predicted that the thieves would have a tough time selling the wines on, partly because of their rarity.

‘We are confident that if or when any stolen bottles appear in public, they will immediately raise red flags,’ said Keller.

The value of the wine stolen has been estimated at around $300,000. DRC, which is distributed in the US by Wilson Daniels, is only available on strict allocation, while Screaming Eagle requires buyers to sign up to a waiting list.

Written by Chris Mercer

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