About $310,000 of Burgundy wines stolen from importer Frederick Wildman & Sons are still missing a month and a half after the theft.
"There's no sign of it," said Roger Bohmrich, the New York-based importer's senior vice president and director of fine wine. "We do not expect to have it recovered." He added, "Whether the wines are even physically here in the United States or were sent many weeks ago to some overseas market, we don't know."
An entire container of wine, which had not yet been opened or unloaded, vanished in late November from Western Carriers' warehouse in North Bergen, N.J. "It was an extremely unusual occurrence and obviously something that was handled by professionals," said Bohmrich.
The shipment consisted of 797 cases of wine from three Cote d'Or producers--Chateau de la Maltroye, Michel Tessier and Nicolas Potel--with whom Wildman was working for the first time.
Wildman intended to market the wines primarily to New York restaurants. Bohmrich estimated the consumer resale value of the wines at $310,000. "These were all prestigious appellations that obviously command a high price."
The FBI has been investigating the case. In the meantime, Wildman has paid the suppliers and is negotiating an insurance claim. However, the company only expects to be able to replace a small percentage of the stolen wines.
Commented Bohmrich, "It's a rather difficult beginning to have virtually irreplaceable wines stolen upon arrival from three producers we had never represented previously."
To read about other wine thefts:
Napa Wine Theft Surprises Vintners