US police recover wine stolen from world-renowned French Laundry restaurant

The fine wine was stolen from three-Michelin-starred California restaurant French Laundry on Christmas Day. Police found most of the bottles, estimated to be worth US$300,000 (S$403,260), on the other side of the United States in Greensboro, North Ca
The fine wine was stolen from three-Michelin-starred California restaurant French Laundry on Christmas Day. Police found most of the bottles, estimated to be worth US$300,000 (S$403,260), on the other side of the United States in Greensboro, North Carolina. -- PHOTO: GEOFFREY EU

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - US police said on Friday they have recovered most of the estimated US$300,000 (S$403,260) worth of fine wine stolen from the fabled Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry on Christmas Day.

More than 70 bottles were pinched from the cellar of the restaurant in Yountville, California - mostly of the highly esteemed Domaine de la Romanee-Conti (DRC) estate and cult American wine Screaming Eagle.

Police detectives found most of the bottles on the other side of the United States in Greensboro, North Carolina, Captain Doug Pike told AFP, adding that they had identified one suspect in the ongoing investigation.

"Detectives recovered the majority of the wines stolen," Capt Pike, of Napa County Sheriff's Office, added.

"We think they stole 76 bottles, could be higher."

The Los Angeles Times has estimated the value of the theft at US$300,000.

At first, the restaurant had estimated that 40-50 bottles had been snatched.

The French Laundry, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary, is one of only 13 US restaurants to have been awarded three Michelin stars - the reviewer's top gastronomic honour.

The Napa Valley eatery offers two menus on a daily basis: a nine-course chef's tasting menu and a nine-course vegetable tasting menu, both offered prix fixe at US$295, wine not included.

"No single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal," it boasts on its website.