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Published:  23 July, 2008

Attempting to disprove the conventional wisdom that the only way to make a small fortune in wine is to have a large one to start with, a team of burglars stole 8,500 bottles from Mommessin's warehouse in Quinci-en-Beaujolais over the weekend of 4/5 May, reports Le Journal de Sone-et-Loire. With wine knowledge to match their sang-froid and savoir-faire, the thieves selected only top Burgundy wines, including the company's flagship grand cru, Clos de Tart. The wines range from E15-100 a bottle and are worth a total of E300,000 (215,000). Having disabled the alarm system, the thieves spent three hours on the night of Saturday/Sunday 10/11 May making their selection, before returning to do the same the following night. The theft was not discovered until early on the Monday morning. Managing director Philippe Bardet Mommessin described the heist as the perfect crime' and likened it to a theft of Grand Masters from an art gallery. All of the bottles are laser marked, and the trade is being warned to watch out for any Mommessin wines not being offered through the normal channels. * Southcorp has reported the theft of wines worth A$614,000 (247,000). They are believed to have been stolen by two company employees at the company's Penfolds winery in Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley over a period from early 2000 to the present. The two employees have been arrested and charged with the offences, and wines worth A$150,000, including Grange from 1954 and other vintages, have been recovered from their home. Another stash of wines worth A$31,000 had already been uncovered in a Melbourne suburb. South Australia Police believe that the stolen wines have been sold in Australia, but it is still unclear whether any have reached international markets.