The latest inventory of the cellar of Paris’ historic La Tour d’Argent has revealed that 83 bottles of wine, including Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, have inexplicably vanished.
La Tour d’Argent’s history supposedly stretches back to the 1582 and the reign of Henry III of France when an inn was opened with a tower made from silvery-hued stone from the Champagne region (hence the name). In the years prior to the French Revolution it would become one of the country’s first fine dining spots. In 1911 it would be bought by André Terrail, whose grandson, also called André, is in charge today.
When the historic eatery Café Anglais closed in 1913, the following year its contents were relocated to La Tour d’Argent. Today the latter holds some incredibly precious wines, including 1870 vintages of Château Gruaud-Larose and Clos de Vougeot , saved from the German invasion in 1940 when Claude Terrail, the current owner’s father, walled up the cellar. There are also supposedly bottles from the 18th century, pre-dating the Revolution.
Now under head sommelier Victor Gonzalez, today the cellar contains approximately 320,000 bottles (the list is so heavy, around 8 kilograms, that it is wheeled out to diners on a trolley). However, a small but noticeable dent has been made in that number, and no one seems to know how.
Some of the most valuable ones have gone missing since the last inventory was taken in January 2020, as reported by local media outlet Le Parisien – and no break-in was reported in the intervening four years. On 25 January this year a complaint was lodged by the restaurant manager concerning the absence of what is estimated to be €1.5 million (£1.3m) worth of rare wine, and the Third Division of the Paris Judicial Police is now investigating what could have happened to the bottles.