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Chablis producer hit by thieves

Domaine Jean-Marc Brocard has suffered multiple break-ins since last year with thieves targeting its premier and grand cru cuvées.

The first theft at Domaine Brocard took place nine months ago when 600 bottles were taken and there have been three more since, the most recent being last week.

In total, 2,500 bottles have been taken, totalling €50,000, all of them premier and grand cru wines from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 vintages.

As reported by Decanter, the thieves have even used a “specially armoured” vehicle to break down the doors of the cellar which has caused “serious destruction” to the winery as well.

The cellar has been reinforced and alerts put out to trace the wines but as none have re-emerged it is believed they are being stolen to order.

Similar break-ins also using an armoured vehicle have been reported at other estates including Domaine Roland Lavantureux in Lignerolles.

No arrests have been made although the Auxerre police department has set up a special enquiry team and a special protection unit to keep an eye on Domaine Brocard.

The Chablis estates are the latest victims in what is a growing problem for producers, with previous victims including Palmer, Yquem and Jacques Selosse.

Merchants are also being targeted now with Red Squirrel Wines in Twickenham and even Berry Bros & Rudd – which suffered a break-in at one of its warehouses earlier this year – being targeted.

Last year one of France’s foremost collectors was taken hostage in his own home and menaced with a shotgun by a gang that wanted to break into his cellar. In the end they fled empty-handed.

Early last year the French gendarmerie swooped on 20 individuals known to be part of gangs behind wine thefts.

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